2005-09-01 / News

Golf course operators asked to fund upgrade on irrigation

Town officials are working on an equitable plan to provide waste water to irrigate the town-owned golf course that is leased out and operated by a private enterprise.

The town had been providing the waste water from the sewage treatment plant, but officials learned earlier this year that the town must install a special filter to keep the system in compliance with state regulations.

It will cost an estimated $290,000 to install the filter when the treatment plant undergoes major renovations in the coming year. The costs of the renovations will be billed to residents who use the town sewer system, but the voter-approved sewer bond does not include funds for the special filter. Officials believe the costs of golf course irrigation should be paid directly by the golf course operator.

The Town Council last month directed town staff to open talks with the golf course operators on their obligations to directly pay the costs of irrigation, and to make whatever accounting adjustments are necessary to remove the costs from the sewer department as a enterprise entity of the town.

The town has been leasing the nine-hole golf course at 245 Conanicus Ave. to the New England Golf Course Management, doing business as the Jamestown Golf and Country Club, and also known as the Caddy Shack restaurant that is located on the lower level of the old clubhouse building. Principals in the corporation are Joseph Mistowski as president and his wife Harriet as vice president, secretary, and treasurer. The Mistowskis, whose home is on property they own adjacent to the golf course, currently are operating under a two-year extension of their 2002 lease that provides for a base rent of $90,000 a year, plus additional rent of 10 percent of all green fees, including season passes, punch cards, and golf car rental fees. The lease also says that the leaser is responsible for capital improvements, and otherwise outlines the responsibilities of the town and the tenants on various maintenance and utility items.

The existing building was established in 1901 on the LittlefieldClarke farm, on the south side of the course. Around 1951, the building was moved to its present location. In 1986, the building and the 74.36-acre golf course was purchased by the town. The course currently assessed at $1.3 million, and the old clubhouse building, consisting of 9,136 square feet, is assessed at $950,000.

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