Plantation Palms Golf Club pumped a lot more water than it was permitted to in 2011, but a proposed $13,000 penalty issued by the Southwest Florida Water Management District last September is no more.
Instead, MJS Golf Group LLC will be penalized a little over $2,000 not for violating its permit, but instead not informing the agency — more commonly known as Swiftmud — that its reclaimed water system was under repair.
Swiftmud claimed the golf course, located at 23253 Plantation Palms Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes, used an average of 144,500 gallons of water per day in Summer 2011, well beyond the 76,600 gallons it’s permitted for. The violations took place around the same time MJS purchased the course in May 2011 through a $2.18 million mortgage from Native American Bank of Denver. The violations continued into 2012, according to Swiftmud, despite its efforts to contact the owners.
Soon after Swiftmud threatened to sue MJS for the penalty amount, owners of the golf course contacted the regulatory agency and explained they had a leak in their reclaimed water system, and had to switch over to potable water while it was being fixed. Plantation Palms put its reclaimed water system back online in November, according to agency documents.
Since then, there has not been any overpumping, and water usage at Plantation Palms is back to normal, Swiftmud said. Because of that, the agency recommended to reduce the penalty it issued last year to $1,800, along with a $250 cost reimbursement. MJS’ permit requires they inform Swiftmud if alternative water sources are not available, which the agency said did not take place.
Swiftmud’s governing board is expected to approve the reduced penalty during its regular meeting Tuesday.
The course temporarily closed last August in what one owner described as a combination of the economy and summer conditions.
“It’s been too hot, and it’s been raining, and the culmination of all that just resulted in not a lot of people playing golf,” one of the owners, Jason Ray, told The Laker/Lutz News back in August. “Summertime is always tough for all the golf courses.”
Plantation Palms reopened within a week of closing.