GARDEN VALLEY -- It's a spring play day for over 100 Garden Valley Elementary students at Terrace Lakes Golf Course and Resort just outside of Crouch. That very fact means all smiles, and not a care in the world -- a scene very different from the 2011 Labor Day weekend.
That's when a major sewage problem forced the area to temporarily close.
And so, Terrace Lakes owner Lonnie Braman knew he had to find an alternative to the Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality shutdown that cost his resort business.
And he did.
Braman began pumping and trucking the waste to a nearby treatment facility. The proposition was expensive, but it was also the only option. "I couldn't let people down," Braman explains.
However, Braman knew it wouldn't be a permanent fix, so he asked several banks for $350,000 to build a new system -- all of them said 'no'.
Next, he decided to ask members and homeowners near the golf course for financial backing -- promising a 10 percent return on their investment. "It was incredible! In a day we had one member say 'I'd want to do the whole thing,'" Braman explains.
So with the money secured, construction on the system is about to begin -- about the same time as the "back nine" opens this summer. That's because a wet, harsh winter killed over a dozen greens which had to be re-seeded or sodded, and extra greens-keeping staff have worked long days to get it open by the first weekend in June.
That fact is a good thing for the course's head golf pro Merle Baptiste who first came here in 1982. Baptiste says because of the caring staff, Terrace Lakes will always be open and offering a great place for the community to gather, as well as visitors to the Garden Valley area.
"Every time we get some new comers here out of the valley who have never been here before, the first thing out of their mouths is 'We love this place and we are coming back."