A group of homeowners is considering a plan through which an assessment fee would allow the purchase and reopening of the club, which closed in 2011. A previous attempt by the group to enact a $15 monthly fee among homeowners in May failed.
In an effort to buy and reopen Turkey Creek Golf & Country Club in Alachua, Fla., a group of homeowners is considering creating a special district in which homeowners would pay an assessment, The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun reported.
The district would act as a mini-government with its own governing board, where homeowners would pay a flat fee, an assessment based on property values or a combination of the two that would be added to their property tax bills, the Sun reported.
The Alachua City Commission would have to approve the new district. Assistant City Manager Adam Boukari said the city staff has had informal talks about the idea, the Sun reported.
“The city is open to ideas,” he said. “There’s going to have to be some broad support out there that would prompt that.”
The board of the owners association is scheduled to hear the idea on October 17. Theenie Smith, one of the homeowners behind the idea, said she hopes the board will take charge of an effort to create the district. Neil Dorrill, whose company manages several communities that have special districts in the area, said proponents would need to gauge community support, because the decision would come at a public commission meeting, the Sun reported.
Smith said Dorrill approached the group when it attempted to get homeowners to vote for a $15 monthly fee, which ultimately failed.
The golf and country club closed in April 2011 after memberships declined and upgrade costs mounted. When it was still open, the club put out an ultimatum for owners to join at some level of membership or forever lose rights to join. Though the effort brought in 80 new memberships, about 80 percent of the homes in the 1,200-home community did not join, the Sun reported.
In May, a group of 12 people looked into buying the club. Among the group was Forest Hope, who helped his father, Norwood Hope, develop the community. Forest said they did not purchase the club for its $1.5 million asking price, after determining it needed $1.8 million worth of upgrades, the Sun reported.
Another group looked into buying the pool, tennis courts and clubhouse separate from the golf course.
Dorrill said special districts have the financial advantages of government, including the ability to borrow money at lower interest rates, use of the state’s contracts for purchases, exemption from paying sales taxes, a cap on liability lawsuits and lower insurance costs. They are also held accountable through open records, open meetings laws, and independent audits, the Sun reported.forum