Watertown Golf Club, City Work To Fix Lease ProblemsPosted: Updated:
Watertown City Manager Rick Finn says the Watertown Golf Club is in violation of its lease with the city.
The violations were brought to the city's attention by the owner of another golf club in town, P.J. Simao. Finn says the city and the golf club's new owner are working on fixing the problems.
"Once we became aware of the violations, we took immediate action, we're going to make sure that they are corrected," said Finn.
Finn recently learned the Watertown Golf Club was using city land that was not included in the club's lease with the city.
Simao, the owner of Ives Hill Country Club, pointed out the parking and cart storage area and the golf club's septic system are on the city's Thompson Park land, violating the lease.
Simao also says the park deed restricts those uses.
"The city is basically partnering with the Watertown Golf Club against Ives Hill Country Club to the detriment of the city taxpayer," said Simao. "These illegal activities have been going on long enough."
After receiving complaints, the city investigated and learned the club was in violation of the lease. Finn says the city met with the owner of the Watertown Golf Club, Mike Lundy, and reached an agreement to fix the violations.
Finn says Lundy will relocate the septic system onto the golf club's property. He says Lundy will fix the violation quickly by putting in a temporary holding facility until a new system is figured out.
As for the parking and cart storage area, Finn said, "It's going to be renovated into an area that will be for public parking for the splash pad, for the new pool, for the memorial, for people that want to hike, snow, skiing, that type of thing and it's going to be a fairly decent size public parking area."
After making those corrections, Finn says the lease will be whole. Simao says still more needs to be done.
"Now that what I said was correct, that means their site plan is going to change. The Watertown Golf Club has never had an approved site plan. Immediately they should issue a stop work order and make them go through the site plan approval process like everybody else. This is setting a very bad precedent," said Simao.
The city also plans to do a survey to make sure everything the golf club is doing is on its property and not city property.
Simao also wants an environmental survey to be done on the lands that were illegally used by the golf course paid for by the golf club.