Council addresses golf club issue

Golfers finish a hole at the Watertown Golf Club. WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES

WATERTOWN — City Councilman Cody J. Horbacz is dissatisfied with the lack of progress that owner Michael E. Lundy has made in resolving a series of encroachment issues at the Watertown Golf Club.

City Manager Rick Finn on Monday night told council members that Mr. Lundy was only able to move golf carts that had been stored on city-owned land at the golf course at Thompson Park.

“We got one,” Councilman Horbacz said. “Check off one box.”

Mr. Lundy was given until Sept. 30 to get all the encroachments resolved after an original deadline of July 31.

Last year, Mr. Lundy’s competitor, P.J. Simao, who owns Ives Hill Country Club, learned that the golf club was encroaching on city parkland at the city-owned park, with a septic system, gravel parking lot and cart storage area located on city property.

Mr. Lundy now promises to complete the parking lot by the end of the year.

However, Mr. Finn pointed out the controversy over golf club members parking on parkland was resolved by putting up a sign at the location that gives permission for the public to park there as well.

Going forward, Mr. Lundy needs to decide to either complete a hookup to the city sewer system or install a new septic system at the golf club.

Because it’s city parkland, it will require home rule legislation to do the sewer connection, a process that would not start until next year.

A water pump hasn’t been moved, and some minor changes to the golf course have been completed.

Mr. Finn told council members Mr. Lundy is working on the items, noting Mr. Lundy will submit plans for the parking lot in a week or two and design work for the sewer hookup has begun.

But Councilwoman Lisa Ruggiero said other business owners would not get the same kind of treatment — they’d be ordered to get the work done or be closed down.

“We know it’s important enough,” Mayor Joseph Butler Jr. told the two council members. “I hear you.”

Last year, Mr. Simao filed a lawsuit, alleging that the golf club is using the land without paying any additional rent on its lease with the city.

In June, state Supreme Court Judge James P. McClusky ruled against him and Mr. Simao has since appealed that decision.

Neither Mr. Simao, who has been critical of the way the city has handled the encroachment issues, nor Mr. Lundy attended Monday night’s meeting.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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