I am compelled to respond to Stan Walker’s letter to the editor. What should have been a relatively simple matter to resolve has escalated based on actions by Mr. Walker, president of the Holmes Harbor Sewer District.
After my company acquired the abandoned golf course in 2011, we put hundreds of thousands of dollars into restoring the property. On April 18, 2013, we signed a six-year lease for the pro shop and parking lot with the district. We also leased our maintenance building and all of the golf course equipment to the district. On May 17, 2013, the sewer board unilaterally terminated the lease. Subsequently, we leased the pro shop and parking lot to Craig Moore for a one-year term. At the end of the lease, I provided Mr. Walker with options for continuing golf course operations. My suggestions were rejected.
In early July, the district began draining a large wetland on the 18th hole. Where the water went and what the quality of the water was is unknown because there was no testing conducted and no controls placed on the discharge. The district brought in heavy equipment to begin filling and grading the property, and dug and connected a side sewer. It then connected temporary power and brought in a trailer to act as the new pro shop. Incredibly, all of this activity was conducted without having obtained permits from the county. Mr. Walker stated that he did not think that they needed permits. Once the county was alerted, they required that all construction activities cease until proper permits were applied for and granted.
Mr. Walker has been aware for months that we disputed the district’s rights to use our property. Despite this, instead of seeking a determination of their rights before proceeding, Mr. Walker has elected to proceed with his plan for how things should be done, spending an estimated $100,000 in the process. What if he is wrong? What if the court determines that the district has no easement? What is the exit strategy? It is irresponsible to spend the rate payer’s money in this fashion.
Holmes Harbor Golf, LLC