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New Patch partners want city to make repairs

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012 7:13 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012 12:29 PM
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The Augusta brothers who took over the lease of Augusta Municipal Golf Course want the city to make several needed improvements at the course or they may back out of the deal.

  Augusta Chronicle file
Augusta Chronicle file

The Golf Course at Augusta LLC, led by Dennis Kelly, was assigned the lease Monday by the Augusta Commission with the signature of Aberdeen, Scotland, businessman Brian Hendry. Hendry’s firm, The Patch in Augusta LLC, was five months behind on the rent.

Hendry’s lease includes the stipulation that the lessee takes the course “as is,” but in a letter Monday from Kelly to Augusta General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie, Kelly said the firm may back out unless the city agrees by Friday to make several basic repairs.

Kelly wants the city to fix a leaky roof and two air conditioning systems and address drainage and irrigation issues at the Highland Avenue golf course, according to the letter.

“In a normal landlord-tenant relationship, the landlord is responsible for any capital improvements,” he said Tuesday. “It’ll increase the value of the golf course that the city owns, and it’s necessary for us.”

Recent heavy rains have worsened drainage issues, but they can probably be handled with a city bulldozer, while the irrigation system, which has several leaks, probably needs to be dug up and repaired, he said.

Hendry’s firm found the premises “habitable” under the lease when it took on the course in January, but Kelly said they are not.

“Hendry’s left a lot of people in Augusta surprised,” said Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles, who last week obtained supporting signatures from six commissioners for the assignment of the lease to Kelly and his brothers, Pat Kelly and Brian Kelly, all Augusta residents and longtime supporters of the city course.

Hendry’s firm hadn’t paid rent at the course since April, when he played host to international Masters Tournament guests there, although he later said Masters Week hadn’t gone as well as he’d hoped. The commission also declined a March request to provide Hendry a $300,000 sales tax allocation for improvements at the city-owned golf course, which was approved by voters several years ago.

Kelly said he didn’t want the sales tax funds but expected Augusta-Richmond “to use those funds to do what they’re supposed to do with them.”

Bowles, Kelly and City Administrator Fred Russell said they expected the new wrinkles to be ironed out.

The requested repairs “didn’t seem to be anything outrageous,” said Russell, who returned from a weeklong vacation Tuesday and said he had limited knowledge on the request.

In the documents approved Monday, Hendry’s firm relinquished about $85,000 in city golf course equipment to cure its default on the lease and cover the five months’ missed rent and city liability for club memberships the firm sold. Kelly said he hoped to honor those memberships.

MacKenzie, who is on vacation until Friday, said he would re-examine the lease but that if it was the commission’s will the repairs could be made.

“I’ve never seen a lease anywhere that the owner doesn’t take care of the structure that they’re renting,” Bowles said.

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No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 08/28/12 - 07:29 pm
10
0
Why the change of heart now, Joe?

“I’ve never seen a lease anywhere that the owner doesn’t take care of the structure that they’re renting,” Bowles said.

So why wasn't it done when The Patch in Augusta LLC had the lease? Could that be the reason the "rent" was being withheld for the last 5 months?

After all, the $300,000 apparently was SPLOST money specifically for improvements at the city-owned golf course.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 08/28/12 - 07:42 pm
8
3
New Names - same $300k request.

Maybe it is time to think of dumping The Patch, saving $300K and expanding the Daniel Field Airport operations. Parking a plane for a day must bring in more $$$ than a round of golf?

OR

Maybe it is time to think making it a RC Parks and Rec dept operation using RC Gov. Employees. That would cut out the middle men and the Pork.

OR

Maybe the Univ. Of Augusta might consider starting a Golf Course Grounds and Mgt. Degree program and running The Patch as a classroom.

Either way make sure the SOUTH SIDE Taxpayers save a lot of $$$$.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/28/12 - 08:25 pm
6
4
Here we go....bend over
Unpublished

Here we go....bend over taxpayers

rebellious
20916
Points
rebellious 08/28/12 - 09:13 pm
5
1
What

When did this sublease take place?

Sounds like Hendry wanted one Masters in the location to see the yield, and it wasn't what he expected. So he hasn't paid rent since?

And does the article say he paid the rent with city owned equipment? You can't do that. That's like paying for a rental car by returning the rental car!

"In the documents approved Monday, Hendry’s firm relinquished about $85,000 in city golf course equipment to cure its default on the lease and cover the five months’ missed rent and city liability for club memberships the firm sold."

What the heck is going on? You can't make this crap up.

zippy
250
Points
zippy 08/28/12 - 09:22 pm
5
0
Its called a triple net

Its called a triple net lease. It requires the tenant to pay for ALL expenses related to the property. Its not that uncommon for long term leases.

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 08/28/12 - 11:39 pm
4
0
Lockett

Bill Lockett sabotaged the original lease agreement by not releasing the $300,000 in SPLOST money to shore up the clubhouse and the irrigation system. It was reported in the Chronicle at the time, but no one but me remembers it.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 08/29/12 - 06:35 am
5
1
Lets get the facts straight

The equipment was purchased by the Hendry group for $85,000.00, then given back to the city for the $5,000.00 rent.

So far to date we have made $85,000.00 revenue versus a loss last year at this time of $160,000.00. Thats a net gain for taxpayers of $245,000.00....

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 08/29/12 - 06:56 am
6
2
The problem seems to be that

The problem seems to be that most want whoever runs it to pay for everything as if they own it. Keep in mind, the city still owns it. It's like a renter fixing up a house he's living in. It only increases the value of the house. I feel the city should pay for capital improvements. The city could take this property back after the lease and rent to someone else for more because of the increased value. What if the renters simply let it be rundown to the point the course and clubhouse are worthless?

soapy_725
43686
Points
soapy_725 08/29/12 - 07:02 am
0
1
The closer Joe gets to
Unpublished

private life, the better his math skills become. I was against it when it was illegal, but voted for it, but I will sue the city when it is no longer my job to vote for illegal contracts.

soapy_725
43686
Points
soapy_725 08/29/12 - 07:08 am
0
1
What a way to lease in River City
Unpublished

$160,000 in avoided losses +
$ 85,000 in equipment abandoned +
$300,000 in unpaid maintenance fees = $545,000.00

All of this with smoke and mirrors. Taxpayers will never see these bucks.

Hendry should have been told that ARC does not have a maintenance budget. ? Porque ? ARC does not "do maintenance". ARC subscribes to the Theory of Run to Failure.

seenitB4
88201
Points
seenitB4 08/29/12 - 07:17 am
3
1
River is right...hahah....again...

Give these guys a chance...fix it up...
If the Kelly brothers cook & entertain after the golfing this will be the next "hot" spot in Augusta....I'd had his shrimp & grits & I knnnnooowww how good it is....:)

nocnoc
43454
Points
nocnoc 02/20/13 - 02:25 pm
2
1
The Question

..........

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
Points
No_Longer_Amazed 08/29/12 - 07:28 am
2
0
no.no.

"Is there $300K in SPLOST funds, or did someone "accidentally" leave a safe open again?"

My thoughts, exactly!

seenitB4
88201
Points
seenitB4 08/29/12 - 07:35 am
2
1
By golly

Get that $45,000 from azzzziz & start with that!

This could be a mentoring program built in just for kids to come & learn to play golf..........get some with time on their hands & keep them out of trouble.......we have some retired olders with golf skills & maybe they would donate some time to this..

Riverman1
84926
Points
Riverman1 08/29/12 - 07:42 am
5
1
If you want to sell the

If you want to sell the course, then that's another game. But if you want the county to continue to own it, they should pay to keep the big items fixed as mentioned here. Yeah, that 300 grand was supposed to go to the course. Where did it go?

Little Lamb
46405
Points
Little Lamb 08/29/12 - 08:22 am
3
0
Super Tuesday

Take a look at my 11:39 p.m. post above. Here is Susan McCord's story on the commission meeting that sealed the doom of The Patch, LLC. If the city would have sunk some capital money into the property, The Patch, LLC would have made good on their lease payments.

Patch Doomed

The commission meeting that doomed the Patch was back in March, 2012.

rebellious
20916
Points
rebellious 08/29/12 - 09:34 am
2
1
Thanks Joe

McCord misses those critical tidbits of information often. They are as important to meaning as the comma between STOP and POLICE.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 08/29/12 - 10:24 am
1
0
JOE Math

Quoting Joe Math "
"The equipment was purchased by the Hendry group for $85,000.00, then given back to the city for the $5,000.00 rent. So far to date we have made $85,000.00 revenue versus a loss last year at this time of $160,000.00. Thats a net gain for taxpayers of $245,000.00...."

-$5K owned in rent
+ $85K which they did not. Who did the price evaluation what condition is the equipment etc. etc.
=======================
= $80K ONLY IF YOU SOLD THE EQUIPMENT.
Now deduct equipment maintenance costs and etc.

My Point is to determine Net Gain one needs to have a lot more info.

BTW: A few Official Questions Joe:
How much has THE PATCH lost this year so far?

What is it expected to lose in Tax payer funds in 2012 and 2013?

Is there $300K in collected SPLOST money, right this second, if approved, to turn over to The Patch for publicly verifiable capital level repairs?

So why not place the books on line for The Patch and settle this accounting discussion?

Augustaismyhome
11
Points
Augustaismyhome 08/29/12 - 10:17 am
3
0
Great for Augusta

This is such a great thing for Augusta to have the Kelly's take over the Patch. Can you imagine better tenants for the city? Their family has been going to the patch since the 1950's.... the 1950's!! These tenants have a genuine interest in running a successful a golf course that I believe will one day be of quality.

The Kelly's are from Augusta and live in Augusta. They don't live over seas where seeking out the monthly rent would be next to impossible. Their father played the course, they play the course, and they will do their part in making sure the course continues to be a part of Augusta's beautiful tradition and history of golf.

THIS SHOULDN'T EVEN BE A QUESTION. Right now they are asking to use a bulldozer, repair a leaky roof and fix the sprinkler system. Every single item is a capital improvement that will directly benefit the city in at least two ways: 1.) city will be able to sell property at a later date for a higher price due to capital improvements 2.) Hendry's lease: the one where the city has only collected $0 in the last 6 months... well, the city just found someone with vested interest to assume responsibility!

Prior to the lease, the city had an operating expense up to $400,000!!! With a paying tenant the city will instead will bring in $1,000 a month!

Kelly's will be a good tenant because: If one has an emotional and fiscal attachment to the course such as the Kelly's, it drastically reduces chances of default on the lease. As well as greatly improves chances of success due to their commitment to the course.

MAKE THE REPAIRS!!! Irrigation and drainage are vital to running a profitable golf course. Without a properly maintained course, NO ONE will play which means no one will pay. Fix the roof if the city would like to protect an investment! Invest what amounts to a drop in a bucket and continue a tradition of Augusta.

seenitB4
88201
Points
seenitB4 08/29/12 - 10:24 am
4
1
Well said augustaismyhome

I agree 100% with you.....:)

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 08/29/12 - 10:33 am
4
0
Open Curtain

The city has no obligation to cover losses at the PATCH.
This is why this option was better than the Affinity managment proposal (where we pay 75,000 for them to run and cover the losses)

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 08/29/12 - 10:40 am
1
0
Fix it or Dump it

That is the main question.

Is the city feeding a money pit, or can it be made healthy and viable again, if privately run? These are the root of many pestering comments.

Everyone knows the Augusta Government cannot even manage Manure given our Waste faculty overflows every heavy rain. So Private operations likely are a better step, if held to real accountability.

But before the Taxpayers unload a $300K pile of cash on the latest operators, I would like to see a sworn statement by them explaining penny for penny on how the money will be spend and why.

Anything less than a full public accountability of the $300K and a written future Gross profit sharing plan and I still say Bulldoze it.

Also this is nothing against the New partners, just the lame Government Process.

seenitB4
88201
Points
seenitB4 08/29/12 - 02:25 pm
3
0
We need more kids picking up a golf club

J.C. Calloway describes a four-stage “Blueprint” of how young golfers become bona fide players (1999). In the first stage, between the ages 3 to 6 years, the child is impressionable through influences and suggestions. The child is given a toy club and ball to play with and observes parents swing their clubs. The child will pick this up eventually by imitation then is promoted to the use of a steel club. The parent only observes at this point, giving praise and positive feedback so the child will not lose interest.

The second stage, between the ages of 7 to 12 years, is when the child learns the basic fundamentals of the game. The child is often enrolled in a junior golf program where tutoring takes place. The golfer learns the formal techniques of the game, which includes proper grip of the club, setup, and game technique. The golfer starts out to play on a par three course. Before the young golfer goes into the third stage, the youth must have good fundamentals, have played in tournaments well, and--most of all—have had fun.

In the third, the young golfer “develops and maintains discipline, good attitude and practice productive habits.” The most important aspect of this stage is to teach the mental approach of ones golf game; by this time the golfer is a teenager with other outside interests. The most difficult part of this stage is to keep the player focused on the game by trying different approaches. Some strategies used include playing different games centered on golf and playing in tournaments for competitiveness. This stage centers on the player gaining independence in golf and obtaining a good mental approach.

By stage four the player is ready to put all of the previous stages together. This is when the player decides whether to become a professional or collegiate golfer. The player can decide to play in college team sport and compete in tournaments. By the time a player has completed the four-stage process, the game has become second nature and is a primary part of the golfer's life. Calloway mentions that a person entering the sport at an older age may follow similar stages.

Money spent on kids with a golf interest = fewer jails

TruthJusticeFaithHope
222
Points
TruthJusticeFaithHope 08/29/12 - 04:02 pm
1
1
Hey BANTANA... I haven't thought of HealthMaster in years...

Health Master was a wild, multimillion dollar fraud conducted to scam Medicare and Medicaid money from Georgia and the Federal government... to mention it here is a reach, don't you think... but thanks for reminding me... I guess they are all out of jail by now...

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 08/29/12 - 04:30 pm
2
0
Just focus on getting more

Just focus on getting more players in there. All the repairs in the world won't amount to a wooden nickel if you don't have people playing golf. Bringing the card games back should work out too. Good luck!

Bantana
2071
Points
Bantana 08/29/12 - 05:04 pm
1
1
yes, perhaps

a bit of a reach. and it appears that you weren't the only one to see it that way.

bubbasauce
21128
Points
bubbasauce 08/29/12 - 05:50 pm
0
0
Hey Joe Bowls, Do you really

Hey Joe Bowls, Do you really expect us to believe they paid $85,000 for some junk equipment then turned around and gave it back for $5,000 rent to the city. How stupid do you think we are? You sound just like Obama! Ha

nocnoc
43454
Points
nocnoc 02/20/13 - 02:34 pm
0
0
wildcat
11
Points
wildcat 08/29/12 - 06:53 pm
1
1
You guys are crazy

The course is in good hands now. The Kelly's will do an outstanding job. Question? Where were those $300.000 before this mess started. The course have been in need of repair for years. I say give the Kelly's the money all $300.000. The Patch LLC, should not have received the money was not stated in the contract.

rebellious
20916
Points
rebellious 08/29/12 - 08:55 pm
2
0
Suspicious Minds

The fact is Augustans are suspicious of any deals swung by the Commission. Earned suspicion, Yes. By this commission, yes, some of them. So even when a deal is right, we the people are gunshy. Once bitten, twice shy. So if the Kelly's are standup, and if the course is going to be maintained. And if golfers are going to pay reasonable greens fees and cart fees. And if tonnage of concessions don't disappear. Then OK I could support the SPLOST funds and improving the place. Personally, the few times I have played the patch, I kinda looked at the cars in the parking lot when I laced up and yanked the clubs outta the trunk. Not a clunker in the lot. Lots of Caddies (cadillacs) and Benzes and BMW's with "retired military" and DV tags, but nobody is driving the HoopTee up to the patch for a round of golf.

And given the Dr. Azziz (spelled correctly, I might add) naming debacle, I don't think letting ASU/GHSA/GRU whatever get a hold of the course should be an option.

Hey.......Brainflash. What a great location for a ballfield. You know what, I might could get behind that idea. How close would $300,000 come to that? Probably pave the parking lot.

Oh wait. It's not downtown! Never Mind.

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