St. Clair News Aegis (Pell City, AL)

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December 24, 2013

Pine Harbor seeks new membership to go public

PELL CITY —

Pine Harbor Golf Course and Racquet Club faces having to close its doors if membership does not increase.
Pell City officials are exploring options to take over ownership of the golf course, making a municipal course open to the public.  In order for the city to take over ownership of the property, membership needs to double.  Approximately 100 people currently have a Pine Harbor membership.
“We’ve done a lot of research on this,” City Manager Patrick Draper told Pine Harbor members who attended last Thursday’s work session.
Running the golf course would be a $500,000-$600,000 operation for the city, which includes a golf pro manager.  
Draper said the city would need to break even between revenue and expenses to make Pine Harbor a municipal course.
City officials are requesting more input from the community, asking people to fill out pledge forms to determine prospective membership interest.
“That way we could see who is interested in the community,” Draper said.  “If they could double the membership, it would be a big step in the right direction.”
Pine Harbor’s owner, Dr. Larry Lemak has presented the city with two lease agreement options, a five-year plan and a 10-year plan.
Under the five-year lease agreement, the city would be paying approximately $6,700 a month.  The 10-year lease agreement’s monthly payment amounts to $ 8,700, but this figure also includes the construction of an on-site pool.
“I want to help with the golf course,” Council President James Mcgowan said.  “But as far as the pool is concerned, we need to leave the plans like they are.  We don’t need to spend taxpayers’ money on a private entity we don’t own.”
Council members Dot Wood and Sharon Thomas agreed that constructing a pool might not be the best course of action.

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