The Black Mountain Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to negotiate out of a five-year contract with Billy Casper Golf. The contract is set to expire in September 2016, but the Board is pointing to $254,000 in losses in order to break the agreement, which could cost the town $100,000.
After two years of debate, a management deal between Black Mountain (N.C.) Golf Course and Billy Casper Golf may be at an end, the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times reported.
The Black Mountain Board of Aldermen voted 5-0 to negotiate their way out of a five-year contract with BCG. The vote about the public golf course came after almost an hour-long closed session tagged onto a regular November 18 board meeting, the Citizen-Times reported.
“Everybody is in favor of severing the relationship,” Black Mountain Mayor Carl Bartlett said the morning after the vote.
Contract language states the town must pay around $100,000 to break the agreement, but Bartlett said he hopes to reduce that, the Citizen-Times reported.
Representatives of the Vienna, Va.-based golf course management company did not return the Citizen-Times’ calls seeking comment by press time.
Under town management, course revenue jumped and fell, with $100,000 annual surpluses followed by $100,000 losses, including the years leading up to the private contract. Following a contentious split vote by aldermen, Billy Casper took over in September 2011, the Citizen-Times reported.
The five-year contract would expire in September 2016. But the board is now pointing to $254,000 in losses already racked up by the company in 26 months, as well as other costs, the Citizen-Times reported
According to the contract, the town must pay Billy Casper an $80,000 annual management fee and must loan the company money to cover gaps in cash flow. So far, Black Mountain has loaned the company $120,000, but town officials say that might climb to $250,000. Billy Casper has requested another $50,000 and Black Mountain finance staff say the company owes $120,000 to vendors and to the town, the Citizen-Times reported.
Bartlett and Town Manager Matt Settlemyer have met once with Senior Vice President of Operations Tony Cianci and other Billy Casper officials about changing the contract. They are now working to set another date, the Citizen-Times reported.