Estate Gift Being Put to Work at Panorama West

By Susan Thompson

Significant progress is underway to put an estate gift to work at Panorama West. Jim and Joyce McLuen, who died in 2016, were some of the first homesteaders at Lake Panorama. Their home was located near Sunset Beach, and they enjoyed boating, fishing and golfing.

Twenty percent of their estate was directed to Friends of Lake Panorama, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity. Last August, members of the Friends board were presented with a check for $473,700.64. The McLuens stated the bequest was to be used for the “upkeep, beautification or expansion” of the Panorama West golf course.

To determine how to use the funds, a public meeting was held, Panorama West golf leagues made recommendations, and other comments were accepted via email and a suggestion box. A task force reviewed all input, prioritized potential projects, and gathered cost estimates.

A report was presented to the LPA board of directors at its November meeting. Projects approved by the board included new irrigation, additional concrete cart paths, new signage and tee box amenities, landscaping around the clubhouse, and improving turf conditions on tee boxes and fairways.

The first step was to solicit bids for a new irrigation system that will cover fairways, tees and greens. Bid specifications were developed in January, and four contractors submitted bids. The low bid of $279,400 from Landscapes Unlimited was accepted. Additional electrical work at the pump station will push the total cost of the irrigation project to $282,700.

A contract with Landscapes Unlimited has been signed. The company’s home office is in Lincoln, Nebraska. It also has offices in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas and China.

The first materials will be delivered May 21-22, and construction will begin May 29. There is a long lead time on the pump, so the contractor may need to hook the irrigation system up to the old pump for a few weeks, then return to install the new pump in August.

The course will remain open during construction. As work gets underway on individual holes, it’s anticipated each hole will be closed for a few days at a time.

New signs, yardage markers, ball washers and trash receptacles have been ordered and should arrive around the end of May. These will be installed as time allows, in coordination with the irrigation construction.

Improvements to the landscaping around the clubhouse are underway. Wood Brothers Landscaping has removed undesirable plants and trimmed shrubs that will stay. Up to 40 shrubs and 80 perennials will be added to the landscaped beds on all four sides of the clubhouse.

A six-foot metal bench has been ordered, and will be placed in the landscape bed near the clubhouse entrance. A bronze plaque on the bench will express appreciation to the McLuens. A second plaque with additional detail will be displayed in the clubhouse.

A cart path improvement plan has been developed and bids received. Once the irrigation construction is complete, a final decision on the extent of the cart path additions will be made.

In the fall, a three-year project to improve turf conditions of fairways and tees will begin. Fifteen acres of tees and fairways will be aerified and interseeded, plus starter fertilizer applied. This project will result in better disease and drought-tolerant turf conditions.

In 2019 and 2020, funds will be added to the existing Panorama West annual operating budget for additional seed, fertilizer and weed control as turf conditions improve.