The town has laid out new terms for its contract with Billy Casper Golf, designed so the town “will no longer face unlimited and uncertain liabilities for golf operations while a long-term plan for the site is worked out.” Under the new terms, the town will make an annual payment of $195,000 to the management company, will split golf revenue 50/50, and the town can end the agreement in the event of a sale.
The town of Woodbridge, Conn., has renegotiated its money-losing contract with Billy Casper Golf for operation of the Country Club of Woodbridge (Conn.), the New Haven Register reported.
The amended deal means the town “will no longer face unlimited and uncertain liabilities for golf operations while a long-term plan for the site is worked out,” First Selectwoman Ellen Scalettar said in a written statement.
The projected loss for this fiscal year is $318,000, Anthony Genovese, director of finances and operations, said. In fiscal 2012-13 it lost $438,258.63, the Register reported.
Woodbridge has been paying Billy Casper Golf of Vienna, Va., about $78,000 a year to operate the 18-hole course and pool, the Register reported.
Under the new terms:
- The town will make an annual payment of $195,000 to Billy Casper Golf, which will assume responsibility for all golf operations, including payment of equipment leases. “This is about half the cost the town would incur to minimally maintain the course with no play and is significantly less than the amount the town paid for golf operations in recent years,” the statement said.
- The town can end the agreement in the event of a sale of all or part of the 160-acre site.
- The town will share golf revenue 50-50 with Billy Casper Golf once benchmarks are reached.
- Billy Casper Golf will be responsible for golf only. The town expects to take over operation of the pool.
“We are now analyzing the finances of running the pool independently,” Scalettar said in the statement.
As to the future of the property, Scalettar stressed the importance of residents’ continued input. In October, two public meetings designed to gather opinions on use of the property began the process, the Register reported.
Ideas included keeping the land as open space, investing more into the facility, considering it for retail use, assisted living for senior citizens or a community center, the Register reported.
“The Community Conversations in October laid the groundwork,” Scalettar said in the statement. “We will be seeking additional public comments early in the new year, following the report to the Board of Selectmen by the town’s consultants.”
The new arrangement, effective January 1 through December 31, 2016, was approved unanimously this month by the boards of Selectmen and Finance and signed last week by Scalettar, the Register reported.
The agreement “helps to control a previously uncertain financial liability,” Genovese said in the statement.
Board of Finance Chairman Matthew Giglietti praised the agreement as “excellent news. It removes the uncertainty of the short-term costs while keeping the focus on a long-term plan for the property,” Giglietti said in the statement.
The club had been privately run and in 2008 was millions of dollars in debt. A developer was planning to build senior housing at the site. Residents then approved buying the land for $7 million and the facility reopened in 2009 as the Country Club of Woodbridge, the Register reported.
The town signed a three-year contract March 1, 2012, with Billy Casper Golf. Scalettar, who took office July 1, has said Billy Casper Golf pegged the losses on the record-breaking heat and rainfall, along with infrastructure problems, the Register reported.