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Santa Teresa resident look ahead after no bidders claim golf courses

By Darren Hunt, DHuntabc7@yahoo.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:13:12 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 01:52:30 PM CST

Residents frustrated with rundown facility being sold for back-taxes. ABC-7's Darren Hunt reports.

EL PASO, Texas -

The Santa Teresa Country Club, including its two run-down golf courses, were on the auction block for the second time this year Monday in Dona Ana County.

Despite minimum bids starting at just $236,000 dollars for the larger golf course and $115,000 for the smaller one, there were no bidders for the Santa Teresa Country Club property, leaving frustrated residents in the area plotting their next move.

"The Santa Teresa golf course itself didn't receive any bids for the three properties that were on the list itself," Dona Ana County Chief Deputy Treasurer Rene Barba said Monday afternoon. "What happens next is they will be placed on the following auction that should take place at the end of October."

Residents said they were not surprised there were no bids.

"There's a rule in the state of New Mexico that apparently doesn't exist in other states where the property owners has two years to come up with the money for the back taxes and recoup the property," said Richard Doyle, president of the El Mirador Home Owners Association in Santa Teresa. "We asked Sen. Cervantes to look into this if this is actually so and then next legislative session to see if we can change that rule for the state of New Mexico."

Doyle said residents in the area are very frustrated, but they're not giving up. He's come up with a number of ideas, including forming a Tax Increment District just to keep the roads in the area up to par.

"We could be talking about a slight increase in property taxes for individual property owners if this is taken over by the County and the streets are brought up to code and maintained properly," Doyle said.

Other residents said it's a pity the property has been left to deteriorate and had no bidders.

"I have a bid dog that I walk all the time the golf course and you can just tell it was a beautiful place," said Dana Whitten, wife of UTEP assistant football coach Todd Whitten, who is new to Santa Teresa. "I don't know what they're going to do so I just pray that somebody comes through because it could be a gorgeous place."

Doyle called the situation frustrating.

"But we'll work our way through it," he said. "We have a lot of people here with business experience background and so forth and so we're gong to work it out as a team and try and get this thing resolved."

Doyle said if Dona Ana County does come to the rescue in Santa Teresa, it will only be for the repair of the streets, not the country club and the golf courses. Many residents told ABC-7 off-camera they are concerned about their property values. ABC-7 spotted lots of homes for sale near the Santa Teresa Country Club.

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