Lawmakers set to vote on Watertown Golf Club deal
WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Watertown City Council will convene Monday evening to consider a resolution on the agenda: approving the city’s intent to purchase the Watertown Golf Club land, its equipment, put a deed restriction on Ives Hill Country Club and settle current and future litigation. But what’s the breakdown of the $3.4 million deal? Easy to ask. Hard to get an answer.
Mike Lundy says the proposal is a win-win-win for Watertown to purchase his Watertown Golf Club for $3.4 million.
“If the city really wants to protect Thompson Park, they want to zone it so there isn’t development, they’ve spent all this effort for 57 years to allow that golf course to be 18 holes, then the best solution is to accept the proposal in front of them,” he said.
Last month, a majority of council said they favor the deal. Monday night comes a vote that would solidify council’s intent to purchase it.
Cliff Olney is part of that majority.
“This one way we get to choose. The other way we don’t get to choose and were faced with litigation, and the outcome, and the alternative to choosing to purchase the land. It’s not something I want to entertain,” he said.
The $3.4 million deal Lundy and Ives Hill Country Club owner PJ Simao are proposing includes Lundy’s park land, and the golf equipment. Some would compensate Simao for a deed restriction on Ives Hill Country Club, limiting it to being a 9-hole course. And some money would settle current or future litigation by the developers.
But how much for what and to whom is not being revealed. Lundy says since it’s a legal matter, it shouldn’t be a public matter. But even city leaders appear to be in the dark.
City Manager Ken Mix says “they have not and will not give us a breakdown of who gets what. Our entire payment will go to Mike Lundy’s companies.”
In response, Lundy says the agreement spells out everything the city gets for assets and the payment will be a lump sum to Watertown Golf Club.
Mayor Jeff Smith says the city should be requiring tax returns and independent appraisals and says he will eventually be putting forth a resolution to have a third-party appraisal done.
“I won’t be able to ask for a resolution tonight because it’s not in time under the rules. But I will ask for one for the next meeting, and an appraisal on the equipment,” he said.
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