MASSENA — The Massena Town Council has passed a resolution asking the New York Power Authority to work with them, the village of Massena and the town of Louisville to ensure the Massena Country Club continues to operate despite its recent financial difficulties.
However, Power Authority officials say, because the facility is privately owned, they’re limited in their ability to help.
The Massena Country Club Restructuring Committee has met with officials from the town and village of Massena and Louisville to discuss their interest in forming a municipal recreational partnership. The committee has been asked to continue operating the Massena Country Club throughout the 2020 golf season, and it is scheduled to open as normal in April.
According to the resolution passed by Massena Town Council members last week, the Massena Country Club “has been a cherished recreational asset in the town of Louisville and benefitting the surrounding communities for over 80 years,” but the Massena Country Club, Inc. “is no longer able to continue the operation and maintenance of the Golf Course as historically done.”
The resolution passed by board members notes that the golf course is a recreational facility that’s open to the public, serves as a tourist attraction, employs about 20 seasonal employees and has been identified as a recreation resource in the Land Management Plan required for the New York Power Authority license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
It requests that NYPA “move forward to develop a partnership with the town of Louisville, town of Massena and village of Massena to continue the operation of the Golf Course as a public golf course for the town of Louisville.”
The Louisville Town Board passed a similar resolution during their January meeting, with four members voting in favor of it and one board member abstaining. Their resolution was forwarded to officials in Massena and Waddington, the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce “and all elected officials asking for their support.”
Power Authority officials said in a statement Tuesday that they have worked with the Massena Country Club in the past, but were unable to consider it this time.
“The New York Power Authority is sympathetic to the current fiscal plight of the Massena Country Club and appreciates the value of recreation it provides to the community. For many years NYPA has worked with the Massena Country Club, within the proper bounds of its authority, to support the availability of golf to the public. However, NYPA is limited in its ability to underwrite the operations of a private club,” they said.
But there may be other alternatives, including putting the country club under a municipal umbrella, which may open the door for NYPA to assist, according to Massena Town Supervisor Steven D. O’Shaughnessy.
“The town of Massena is willing to do what we can to help make that a go. I think it needs to come under the municipal umbrella,” he said.