The District of Sechelt, B.C. had taken control of Sechelt Golf & Country Club because of unpaid lease fees and concerns over the ownership’s ability to manage the course; a judge’s requirements for proper operation have now been satisfied.
Shareholders of Sechelt (B.C.) Golf & Country Club Ltd. (SG&CC) met conditions to have the golf course returned by the city to private operators, and the owners were scheduled to re-take control by the end of September, according to the Coast Reporter of Sechelt.
The District of Sechelt took control of the golf course in January, saying SG&CC owed $191,332 in unpaid lease fees. The District also cited concerns with the operator’s ability to manage the course, noting it had been advised that creditors were calling about unpaid obligations.
In July a judge ruled that only a small portion of the back-lease fees were owed and that SG&CC should be given another chance to operate the golf course, according to the Coast Reporter.
The judge set out conditions that included getting out of a commitment with CC Real Estate Mortgage and paying $125,000 into an interest-bearing account to be released at the order of the court or the consent of both parties.
Brian Hall, a major shareholder of the ownership group, told the Coast Reporter that those conditions had been met on September 19, after a one-week extension was granted to come up with the funds.
“Legally right now, since we have met the judge’s requirements, we could walk in tomorrow, but I think a proper transition is needed for everybody’s sake,” Hall said during the last week of September. “So the thoughts are [for reassuming control] around September 30. I don’t know whether that’s agreeable to the other side or their lawyers, but that’s what we’re shooting for.”
Sechelt Mayor John Henderson said the District will work with Hall to ensure a smooth transition.
“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that the handover is seamless,” Henderson told the Coast Reporter.
Some aspects of discussions about how the handover of the course will happen might take some time to figure out, Henderson noted.
“To maintain the course, [the city] had to acquire things like used kitchen equipment and some tables and chairs for the restaurant, and even some maintenance equipment, so we have entered into some leases, and in some cases we purchased the assets,” Henderson told the Coast Reporter, adding that a number of golf carts were leased by the District as well. “We’ll have to have the conversation, if SG&CC is interested, about whether they want to take [those leases] on and assume the responsibilities or buy them from us or whatever.”
Exactly how much the District has spent on equipment leases and purchases at the golf course since the takeover in January was unclear, according to the Coast Reporter.
“I don’t know the exact amount, so I don’t want to give you the wrong details, but whatever it is, it’s not the $100,000 or whatever amount, it’s ‘OK, how much can we sell them for?’ ” Henderson said, who added that he expects the District to recoup the majority of its costs. “So we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars net cost of the various equipment.”
Henderson said the District will be watching SG&CC closely in the coming months to ensure the operating requirements set out in the lease are met.
“We revert to being the landlord and SG&CC is the tenant,” he told the Coast Reporter. “And, like any landlord-tenant relationship, we’ll be watching to make sure the terms of the lease are adhered to, whether that means paying the rent on time or meeting any of the other conditions that might be in the lease.
“Among other things, the lease obliges SG&CC to operate a first-class golf course and to keep operating for what I believe is every day of the year except Christmas and Boxing Day, including the restaurant,” Henderson added.jobs