Louisville meeting gets lively as residents voice concerns over country club purchase

Golf course acquisition in Louisville

LOUISVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - It was an impassioned meeting in Louisville Wednesday night as residents raised concerns about the town’s newly acquired golf course.

The town board spent the meeting discussing the former Massena Country Club and the community’s concerns about it -- like how it will be paid for.

Town supervisor Larry Legault says the club, acquired by the town back in February, must sustain itself from greens and other fees.

A resolution passed in August acquiring the club forbids using taxpayer funds for it.

The club has two bank loans and owes the county more than $60,000 in back taxes. Legault says if the course makes no revenue, it closes.

“If you don’t have the money to pay it, we’re not generating the money through the golf course, then we’re out of business,” Legault said.

In late February, Massena Country Club turned its assets over to the town. Some residents say they weren’t made aware of the change.

“Is it a good or bad thing?” Wendy Chapman said. “It just seems like there was not transparency.”

“I don’t understand how much more transparent we could have been, except for calling the 3,600 people that we represent and explaining it in detail,” Legault said.

The New York Power Authority leases the land to the club and has to approve the deal. NYPA says it hasn’t received any documentation, but Legault says he has a letter from NYPA stating the authority would work with the town.

“You would think you would absolutely have NYPA’s blessing ‘hey open up, this is good,’” said one person who called into Wednesday night’s meeting.

“NYPA would be five years before they ever decided what would be the best route for Louisville to take,” Legault said. “By that time, it would be a hayfield.”

The town board says the country club has had more downs than ups, but ultimately most residents want to see it succeed.

“The more they go out and play golf and support the town, support the golf course, the more successful we will be and I think we can make this course a success all on its own,” councilman Dan O’Keefe said.

The course will be renamed The River Course at Louisville Landing.

It’s set to open in April.

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