WARNER ROBINS -- Warner Robins City Council quashed an idea to purchase a golf course at its precouncil meeting Thursday, agreeing it has bigger issues to address.
“We have higher priorities that we need to pay attention to,” said Councilman Mike Brashear, naming a city payroll adjustment as a top priority.
Mayor Chuck Shaheen said he will inform the owners of the Landings Golf Club of council’s decision not to buy the club.
Landings owners met with Shaheen, Councilman Daron Lee, city golf pro Jarred Reneau, and two Building Authority members -- who oversee the city course -- Wednesday to discuss a possible acquisition following the golf club’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Officials had discussed an idea to sell International City Golf Course and use the money for the Landings purchase, but no specifics were hashed out.
Shaheen said “the news that was created by the media -- not the golf course” led him to discuss the topic in an open meeting Thursday, instead of a closed session that would be covered under Georgia law that exempts talks of the future acquisition of real estate.
In just five minutes, almost every council member had said they weren’t interested.
Lee said after the meeting that he received several e-mails this week from residents who were against the purchase of a second golf course.
Shaheen’s thoughts on the acquisition of the Landings seemed to change throughout week. He said Monday that he didn’t see it as a viable option, Wednesday that he saw a lot of pros to the deal, and Thursday that he “agrees 100 percent” with council’s thoughts.
“We have a golf course,” said Councilwoman Carolyn Robbins. “It’s already paid for -- or will be soon. It’s working well for us, and we should stay where we are.”
The city will make its final payment on International City Golf Course this month, according to City Attorney Jim Elliott. The city purchased the course in 1991.
Following council’s decision, the Building Authority canceled Thursday’s special-called meeting that was set to discuss the Landings. However, there was discussion that because Lee is also on the Building Authority and the presence of two other authority members constituted a quorum, a public notice should have been issued about Wednesday’s meeting but was not.
Authority member Dean Cowart said it was an accidental oversight.
To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.