Source: Proposal would have city own Watertown Golf Club, end litigation

Watertown Golf Club
Watertown Golf Club
Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 12:01 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Owners of Watertown’s two golf courses are in talks with the city of Watertown that could result in the sale of the course in Thompson Park.

The deal would also end all the lawsuits against the city and see Ives Hill Country Club, on Flower Avenue West, reopen.

Sources say the potential deal is structured so that the city buys the Watertown Golf Club in Thompson Park from Mike Lundy. The golf course sits partly on land Lundy leases from Watertown.

In return, Lundy would drop his legal action against the city. Lundy filed court papers in May, setting the stage for a lawsuit against Watertown and two council members over eliminating a public parking area near the club.

The deal would also stop any future litigation surrounding the golf course from PJ Simao. In return, Simao would reopen Ives Hill Country Club, which has been closed for the past few years. Simao has kept it closed because he feels the city subsidizes the park golf course through a cheap lease agreement, creating an unfair business environment.

Driving the conversation is the fact Watertown’s new zoning changes, if passed, would prohibit Lundy from developing land he owns around the Watertown Golf Club.

The talks include Lundy, Simao, city manager Ken Mix and city attorney Robert Slye.

What would happen to the golf courses? Watertown would have the option to run the Thompson Park course as a municipal course, while controlling dozens of undeveloped acres around it. The city could choose to close the course, too. The deal may also be structured so that Ives Hill can reopen as a nine-hole course, giving Watertown the right to owning the only 18-hole course in the city.

Sources are careful to point out these talks are preliminary. Terms of the deal aren’t known, nor is how any payment would be split between the golf course owners for the sale of land and the stopping of any current and future litigation.