Council to open golf course bids

Published 10:25 pm Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Suffolk City Council will receive and open bids, as well as hold a public hearing, for a proposed lease for Sleepy Hole Golf Course during its meeting Wednesday.

Also during the meeting, the council will consider resolutions to adopt action plans for two grant programs, as well as to support a Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge quarter.

The city is seeking to lease the 176-acre golf course for a minimum of 20 years. The council will open and consider bids at the meeting, and then it could determine which, if any, of the bids to accept. If a selection is made, the council will hold a public hearing on an ordinance granting the lease to the selected bidder.

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The lease includes the operation and maintenance of the golf course, as well as construction of a clubhouse, maintenance facility, cart storage facility and pavilion. The lease, for which the city will receive $350,000 per year or more, no longer includes the historic Obici House and Carriage House.

The city began the process of looking for lessees or buyers for the golf course in 2007. A request for qualifications was issued, seeking plans for leases or purchases, and four respondents advanced to the next level. Last year, a request for proposals was issued, and Ronnie Rountree — a planning commissioner and construction company owner — responded.

In the interim, however, City Council decided that it wished to enter into a lease agreement, rather than sell the property. Therefore, the city gave notice this month that it would receive bids for minimum 20-year leases in the purchasing department through noon on June 2, and that the mayor also will receive bids during the June 3 meeting.

Also during the meeting, council will consider a resolution to modify and readopt an action plan for the City of Suffolk Community Development Block Grant Program and the Western Tidewater HOME Consortium HOME Investment Partnership Grant Program, and to accept additional funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Since the original adoption of the plan May 6, the city received notification that it would receive about $60,000 more between the two grants programs than originally planned.

In addition, council will consider a resolution supporting the nomination of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to be featured on the reverse side of a quarter.

Beginning next year, the U.S. Mint will issue coins featuring one national park or other national site from each state, the District of Columbia and each U.S. territory. The proposed resolution supports nomination of the swamp for Virginia’s quarter, given its unique historical, environmental and biological significance.