Paperwork has been filed to stop the city’s purchase of the Watertown Golf Club

Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 2:48 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A Watertown resident has filed court paperwork to try and stop the city’s $3.4 million deal with the Watertown Golf Club.

According to documents filed with the State Supreme Court in Jefferson County, MaryEllen Blevins of Washington Street calls the deal an “unconstitutional gift of funds to private entities be forcing the City of Watertown to purchase the Watertown Golf Club at a price far exceeding any appraisal of the property, and doggedly refusing to obtain an updated appraisal to determine a proper counteroffer. Instead, Defendants have blindly approved the expenditure of $3.4 million from the City’s reserve fund, and as such expenditure has not been supported by any records or valuations available. Defendants have committed waste and an illegal act through this unconstitutional gift, not simply by failing to obtain appraisal, but in accepting without any negotiation a sale price that grossly exceeds prior appraisals available to Defendants. Defendants also ignored the legal opinion of the City Attorney and failed to conduct an environmental review required under New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act.”

Since August 31st, the city has been in discussions to buy the Watertown Golf Club’s land and assets for $3.4 million from Mike Lundy. It also would stop litigation against the city pertaining to the course. Lundy’s deal with the city would then allow Lundy to do a deal with PJ Simao, owner of Ives Hill Country Club, and limit that course to 9-hole play, making the Watertown Golf Course the only 18-hole course in the city. Lundy would compensate Simao, but that amount isn’t being made public.

Council members Lisa Ruggiero, Pat Hickey and Cliff Olney voted December 12th to enter into a binding purchase asset agreement to do the deal.

Mayor Jeff Smith and Council Member Sarah Compo Pierce voted no.

The paperwork will now be looked at by Judge James McClusky and a decision could come this week.