Saturday, October 31, 2009

Six month extension to manage Countryside Golf Course

Countryside Golf Club

Countryside Golf Club

A snail race would still outpace Roanoke City government when it comes to making decisions and finalizing contracts. On Friday Florida based Meadowbrook, Inc. signed a six-month extension to manage the city-owned Countryside Golf Course.

Meadowbrook, the current operators of the golf course have had four consecutive yearly leases each ending on October 31. The six-month contract extension was signed at 4:00 PM Friday.

On Friday before word got to staff at Countryside they were still taking tee-times for Sunday, post-contract date.

In a Saturday phone call with Scott Beasley, VP of Operations for Meadowbrook explained that the six-month contract was to give them time to “get a long-term deal ironed out and this way the golf course can stay open.” It will also give the city time to put out bids for the new irrigation system, cart paths and repairs to the clubhouse said Beasley.

Their discussions have been very amicable and pleasant but Beasley just “wished it had started three or four months ago.” The request for proposal closed on June 1 which makes it five months where that snail could have traveled across country by now (editor’s snail comment).

Beasley emphasized that it is a good thing and Meadowbrook’s agreement requirements are “on the table … and will be mutually beneficial to both of us.” Should they not be able to work out a long-term deal in six months at least they would have an out. .Beasley said he made that fact very clear to the city manager, Darlene Burcham, Brian Townsend and city attorneys, William Hackworth and Gary Tegenkamp. Tegenkamp is a golfer which helps in understanding said Beasley.

The city and Beasley will start “hashing out all the details” when he returns to Roanoke the week of November 9. Understandably attorneys on both sides identify areas in contracts that require protection for both parties.

Roanoke City had been negotiating with another party Geary Leathers and that fell through. Leathers out of Richmond held Beasley’s position as VP of Operations at Meadowbrook during sale negotiations from 2002 – 2005 between Burcham and Meadowbrook.

In remarks at the October 5 Council meeting Burcham lamented on the lack of maintenance by Meadowbrook prior to the city’s purchase in 2005. Leathers was VP of Operations during that time so it makes one wonder why Burcham considered Leathers for management at all.

It bares repeating that the reason Meadowbrook sold the golf course to the city in the first place was an agreement between Burcham and Roanoke Regional airport director, Jackie Schuck to not renew the 40-year lease of the airport-owned land where many of the fairways reside. With that information being relayed to Meadowbrook through memos to Leathers any upgrades or extensive maintenance was fruitless.

Beasley said , “we’re glad to be there … we wanted to be there all along.”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Roanoke City Politics

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