Golf course, street mural on council agenda | News

Greenville Council City is considering a staff recommendation to give the company currently managing Bradford Creek Golf Course more money so it won’t end its supervision of the facility in March.

The council also will decide whether to authorize a street mural proclaiming Black Lives Do Matter and two other public art projects during its 6 p.m. meeting on Monday. The online meeting will be broadcast live on Suddenlink channel 9 and the city’s website.

The city had a contract with Billy Casper Golf, now called Antares Golf Management, to manage the city-owned 18-hole golf course between Jan. 1, 2018 until Dec. 31, 2022.

The city agreed to pay the company a net annual contribution in years when course expenses exceeded revenue. The first year’s contribution was $100,000 and succeeding payments were to decrease annually to $25,000 in years four and five.

Expenses proved larger than expected, and in February Billy Casper golf asked the city to maintain its $100,000 contribution into the second year.

The council agreed, but a month later Antares notified the city it was canceling its contact, effective March 31, 2021.

Staff had further discussions with Antares officials and suggested it would increase its contributions to $125,000 a year if the company agreed to extend the five-year contract to eight years.

If Antares’ revenues increase, and the entire $125,000 isn’t needed, the city also agreed to hold up to $37,500 a year to be used in the next fiscal year if revenues drop or unexpected expenses, like storm damage repairs, come up.

The amended agreement would also “significantly increase” the city’s oversight of the course. Conditions include:

  • Having city staff on site every week to provide operational feedback
  • Monthly and quarterly administrative meetings with the company.
  • Two yearly notes to council regarding course operations
  • Coordinated marketing efforts
  • Working with the city to plan special events.

Street mural

The vote on the street mural and other projects comes after the council in August amended its contract with the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge and gave itself authority to approve all public art projects located on city property.

Questions were raised about the timing of the action because a group of black artists had sought the city manager’s permission to paint a mural on First Street highlighting the racial justice movement.

In October, the council adopted a policy outlining procedures for approving arts projects. The policy would have required the artists to make presentation during the a council workshop session before possible consideration at the next month’s meeting.

However, council exempted the Black Lives Do Matter project and the two others from the new policy, allowing presentations at its Oct. 19 meeting and a vote on Monday.

Also during Monday’s meeting, the council will consider:

  • A contact with Riverside Recreation giving it space on the Town Common to rent kayaks, canoes and other watersports equipment.

Riverside Recreation will pay the city $200 a month to be the only provider to conduct and transact business at the Town Common. However, other providers can still use the canoe and kayak launch.

  • A request to modify the city’s agreement with Seacoast Communities so the developer has more time to complete its due diligence on plans to build a hotel and apartments on the former Imperial Tobacco Warehouse property.

According to information in the council’s agenda materials, Seacoast believes it must complete its approval process with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before completing its due diligence. The developer is seeking HUD financing and the COVID-19 pandemic has lengthened the approval process.

Prior to the council’s 6 p.m. meeting it will hold at 4 p.m. workshop session where it will receive a presentation on the city’s pavement condition survey, upcoming stormwater regulatory change and development of the city’s African-American cultural trail.

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