Friday, October 2, 2009

UPDATE: Council agenda includes Countryside improvements

Countryside Golf Course 10th Fairway

Countryside Golf Course 10th Fairway

COUNCIL AGENDA FOR MONDAY – COUNTRYSIDE

At City Council meeting on Monday at 2:00 PM Council members will be asked to vote on up to $1.5 million of capital improvements to city-owned Countryside Golf Course. Improvements are:

 

FROM AGENDA: Necessary capital improvements have been identified with a total estimated cost not to exceed $1.5 million. The improvements include:

Golf course irrigation system renovation

Cart path renovation

Clubhouse renovation

Pavilion/Driving Range improvements

It is expected that the vote will be 5-2 with Mason and Rosen opposed. The next day or two the contract for management should be awarded to Meadowbrook.

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 29 – COUNTRYSIDE GOLF COURSE – they just don’t get it, don’t care or are completely ignorant. Ignorant of the effect that delaying  award of golf course management has on the condition of the course and revenue generated from it … familiar.

One wonders if  stalling is a tactic meant to ensure the golf course’s demise.

The delay in past years has resulted in the loss of revenue generated from leasing the tennis building. That was $22,000 annually. Now the building just sits deteriorating.

The month to month lease with last minute reprieve has sent memberships and tournaments elsewhere. The RVST (Roanoke Valley Senior Tour) schedule has just skipped Countryside as the manager could not accommodate them with the award for the course’s management still pending. Their current yearly lease ends October 31.

Meadowbrook has bid on continued management of the course but had to release their golf pro because of the delay. They can’t aerate, seed or fertilize at this critical time of year. All other golf courses in the area are completing necessary fall maintenance. This has been going on since 2005 when the city first purchased the course.

Meadowbrook’s VP of Operations, Scott Beasley without any word from the city has had to make plans to remove all equipment. Meadowbrook, a Florida based golf course management company has operated Countryside Golf Course since they sold it to the city in 2005. They need to move their equipment to other courses that they either own or manage.

Councilman Court Rosen asked Beasley in an email why Meadowbrook sold the property in the first place. Rosen was not on Council and had just arrived in Roanoke in 2005. The explanation is that Meadowbrook was informed by City Manager, Darlene Burcham that the 40-year lease on portions of the golf course owned by the Airport Authority would not be renewed when it expired in 2008.

Burcham had contacted the Director of Roanoke Regional Airport, Jackie Schuck to ensure this would be so. Now the city has arranged a continuation of the lease for 10 years. Many of the 18-hole golf course fairways reside in the runway protection zone owned by the Airport Authority. The city pays the Airport Authority $18,000 rent yearly – a substantial increase from the $4300 previously paid prior to the recently completed land swap with the city.

The award and vote should be on this Monday’s (Oct. 5) Roanoke City Council agenda. According to Bobby Kidder, the Meadowbrook employed general manager of Countryside Golf Course, negotiation on irrigation and golf cart path repairs need to be completed. Kidder is living in a motel waiting for a decision to be made. He had to send his child back to Richmond with his wife to start school rather than start him in Roanoke.

It’s not clear whether Roanoke City will have Meadowbrook replace the irrigation system and cart paths or will put it out for bid. Either way play at the course will suffer as will revenue. Nine holes at a time will close during repairs.

As the city drags its feet it drives another city taxpayer asset into the ground. The next words you will hear are “it needs to be torn down” – oops, that was Victory stadium.

Related articles:

BREAKING: Roanoke City jeopardizes contract for Countryside Golf Course

Information Obtained as Council Member Used to Package a Proposal to Manage Countryside Golf Course

One Countryside Golf Course Management Proposal Looms Large for Council Monday

 

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Roanoke City Politics

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