Group protests for bid on The Patch

No other offers proposed for operating golf course

For the time being, the fate of "The Patch" hinges on a Scottish businessman's bid protest pending with the city's Procurement Department. The Augusta Commission couldn't muster the votes to take action on the matter Tuesday.

The Patch in Augusta LLC, whose partners include Scottish golf course developer Brian Hendry and Savannah, Ga., developer Michael J. Kistler, was the only company to submit a proposal when the job of privately operating the Municipal Golf Course was advertised this year.

Their bid was disqualified, though, because the company lacked a business license, which Henry's attorney said couldn't be obtained without first having a lease for The Patch.

After a dozen invitations to bid were sent out by the city department, the only other response was from an Evans golf course management company, which declined, explaining that a five-year lease wouldn't afford time to recover capital investments.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham's motion to put the contract back out for bid -- altering some language about the license requirement and lengthening the years on the lease -- failed 5-3, with Commissioners Matt Aitken, J.R. Hatney and Bill Lockett voting no and Alvin Mason and Don Grantham absent.

Lockett, whose district includes The Patch, earlier had floated a substitute motion to send the matter back to the Public Service Committee. That motion failed 3-5, with Aitken, Joe Bowles, Brigham, Joe Jackson and Jimmy Smith voting no.

Brigham said the golf course's finances need to be settled before they start working on the 2011 budget. The operation lost taxpayers $170,000 last year and is expected to lose $150,000 to $200,000 this year.

The appeal by The Patch in Augusta LLC, will eventually go before the Public Service Committee.

'Patch' bidders call city's rejection 'ridiculous'

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