Watertown golf course inspection urges city to replace entire electric system, taxpayers would pay for it

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 5:56 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - An electrical inspection at the Thompson Park Golf Course is sparking some debate on the Watertown City Council. Who will foot the bill and what happens next?

NYTRIC Electrical Contractors of Watertown inspected the electrical system in the clubhouse last Thursday.

“Their recommendation was that the entire electric system be replaced,” said City Manager Ken Mix.

As new owners, Watertown will foot the bill.

“I think the best avenue for us is to do it ourselves so we get what we need in order to operate the clubhouse,” said Mix.

In prior meetings, city council members Cliff Olney and Lisa Ruggiero were confident that former owner Mike Lundy would pay for repairs.

“I’m used to the private sector where you have a handshake agreement and somebody says they’re going to do something, they’re going to do it. I have no doubt Mike Lundy had every intention of doing the electrical work up there,” said Olney.

Mix says that wasn’t Lundy’s responsibility.

According to the asset purchase agreement signed in December, the list of things $100,000 was set aside to fix did not include the electrical system. The issues were found after the deal was done.

“They said that the electrical was going to be covered by Mr. Lundy. I’ve been saying for weeks, if you just read the agreement, it’s not there,” said Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith.

Olney says it caught him by surprise when Mix revealed the inspection was done and council hadn’t been made aware of the results. Mix made the revelation after Council Member Sarah Compo Pierce asked for an update Monday night.

As of Monday morning, there is now an access agreement between Lundy and the city. It will allow him to grab some personal belongings and allow the city to do some of the work in the asset purchase agreement.

“He’s still responsible for some of it, including cleaning out some personal property in the clubhouse, and renovating and rehabbing the golf carts and returning those to us,” said Mix.

Mix says the next step is to hire an electrical engineer to draw up a plan. As for whether this will delay the course’s opening, Mix says it depends on how quickly the city can get it done.