Thatcher approves joint management of golf course

Watering of Mt. Graham Golf Course. - Gila Valley Central Photo

THATCHER – Don’t blink now but the councils of Thatcher and Safford are in agreement.

During its Tuesday night meeting, the Thatcher Town Council unanimously voted to approve an intergovernmental agreement with Safford regarding joint management of the Mt. Graham Golf Course.

The council had a consensus that the course could be a possible tourist attraction over the coming years and bring in golfers from all over the state. Thatcher Town Manager Terry Hinton even posed the possibility of partnering with local hotels to create golf packages.

According to the IGA, Safford will provide effluent water from its water treatment facility for use at the golf course as well as potable water. It will also commit up to $200,000 annually toward the operating cost. Thatcher will provide sewer and trash services and will commit up to $60,000 annually toward the cost of electricity and natural gas consumption at the course. The town will also rebate all sales taxes collected from the pro shop and restaurant operations.

Hinton said the course’s grass previously wasn’t getting enough water under previous management because the pumps weren’t working. After OB Sports stepped in to manage the course, and with the assistance of both Safford and Thatcher, the pumps were fixed and the course has grown lush in greenery.

“It will improve, and it already has drastically,” Hinton said. “They had water, they just couldn’t get it where they needed it.”

Jon Johnson contributed to this report.