GLOVERSVILLE - Mayor Dayton King said he has "more questions than answers" after meeting Friday with people he said have a "vested interest" in keeping the Pine Brook Golf Club's nine-hole course operational.
Letters were sent to the club's membership - about 90 strong - on Friday informing them of the Board of Directors' decision to close the course for 2012.
Board President George Ringland described the decision as "wrenching" and said the club would need more than 200 members to operate in the black, a goal that would have been easy years ago but seems near impossible today, he said.
Gloversville Mayor Dayton King says he’s reviewing the possibility of the city taking over Pine Brook Golf Club, shown above.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
King said he still hasn't seen the wording of the stipulations within the 1946 deed for the property that not only restrict public access to the course, but also give the land to the city if the course is unused for a year.
If the city can't use the property, it goes to Nathan Littauer Hospital, Ringland said, according to the deed.
Ringland said the club can't afford to pay for the labor and chemicals needed to keep the greens manicured.
King said he fears if the city took over the course, by that time the property would be overgrown and "a wreck."
He said he noticed trees and debris on the course, and the cart paths appear to be washed away.
He said City Attorney Anthony Casale is exploring options, one of which may be to ask a judge to speed up the process.
If the city were to take over the course, King said he's concerned the city would be taking on the course's mounting debt.
According to the club's 2010 tax documents, which are public for the nonprofit, the mortgage payable was listed at $319,549. Total liabilities at the time the form was filed totaled $459,866.
According to 2004 tax documents, the mortgage payable was much less, at $231,381 by the end of that year.
Ringland declined to get into specifics last week, but said the mortgage was refinanced.
According to 2010 tax documents, total revenue decreased from $240,553 to $218,387 reported in 2009.
The club took out a $50,000 mortgage from the Fulton County Economic Development Corp. in May 2011 to keep the greens open last season.
King said if the city were to take over the course, it would want to look into contracting out with someone.
"I do encourage we make a decision rather quickly," King told the Common Council at Tuesday's meeting.
King said he hasn't been able to talk with Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane yet. He said he's trying to arrange a time to talk with her about how Amsterdam's municipal course is run.
"I don't want to take it on as a loss," King said. "I do think it's a great thing to have in the city."
King said more details will be available in the next few weeks.
Amanda Whistle covers Gloversville news. She can be reached at email@example.com.