Prestonwood Country Club allegedly stole creek water for decades - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Prestonwood Country Club allegedly stole creek water for decades

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A golf course is at the center of a Dallas City Council debate over water and money.

The Hills course at Prestonwood County Club in Plano had allegedly been diverting water from nearby Indian Creek for its own use for more than 20 years. The city estimated about $600,000 worth of water had been taken over the years.

When the city started talking with Prestonwood about a deal for land at its Dallas course, The Creek, for a pipe-construction project, they negotiated a settlement deal for the water and the land.

The council turned the deal down on Wednesday, saying the land's value was higher than what Prestonwood was paying taxes on.

"They've taken just large amounts of water," said Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs. "We'll never know how much they've stolen."

Griggs led the charge to table the deal.

At the same time, the City of Dallas wants an easement at Prestonwood's golf course in far North Dallas to put in a waste water line.

A couple of golfers at The Hills course say the country club should have known the law before using the water.

"I think it's kind of a big deal," said golfer Reynaldo Arifin. "They should be knowing that before they actually use the water."

Councilmember Griggs says the city is losing out in the payoff deal, and that Prestonwood County Club has sued for lower property values at tax time, but the land where the city wants the easement is valued much higher.

"If they can fix it with an agreement with the city, I think it should be OK," said golfer Louis Situmorano. "If they can fix the agreement."

Griggs' argument dampened any enthusiasm there might have been for the agreement -- it's on hold for a cooling off period, and there's no time limit on that.

No one from Prestonwood was present at the council meeting.

The club says it will release a statement, but FOX 4 hasn't received one yet.

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