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Golf course, City of Apopka reach agreement over $170K water bill

An Apopka golf course that racked up a $170,000 water bill has found a way of clearing its debt: Give the city what was once the 4th hole.

The unconventional land swap accepted by the Apopka City Council on Wednesday night was the product of months of negotiation between Apopka staff and golf course owners, who were slapped with the hefty utility tab when they took possession of the property last year.

The city hopes to get a new neighborhood park out of the deal. Someday the 11-acre site — located east of Vick Road within a section of the course that was shut down years ago — could become a place for residents to laze in a gazebo or work up a sweat at an exercise station.

The agreement will also erase some of the debt encumbering Apopka Golf and Tennis at Errol Estate, which is struggling to survive in the face of withering memberships at clubhouses around the region.

To its advantage, the course has allies living on the fringes of the fairways.

Neighbors say they are determined that the green centerpiece of their community won't meet the same fate as Rock Springs Ridge in Apopka, Rolling Hills near Altamonte Springs and Sabal Point in Longwood — all now closed.