Commission approves Patch lease during special meeting - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Commission approves Patch lease during special meeting

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

After months of management turmoil, "The Patch" has a new group running the show.

Last week, a motion to lease the Augusta Municipal Golf Course to Virginia Beach Golf Management failed, 6-3.

But Mayor Pro Tem Joe Bowles requested a special meeting to bring up the issue again, just days before several new Commissioners took office.

This time it passed, 6-2.

"It was something important enough to me to save the taxpayers the $200,000 a year," Bowles says. "We had the opportunity, and I'm not sure the opportunity would be there next year."

District 10 Commissioner Grady Smith missed last week's meeting due to health concerns.

He was there Thursday, and says this is the right move for the golf course by putting those who know the business in charge.

"You've got inside the golf pro shop, buildings, maintenance and all that," Smith says. "You better have somebody out there who knows about grass and knows how to work what the course is about."

Commissioners Alvin Mason and Bill Lockett voted against the contract. They say they'd like more time to look at the details.

But they're also unhappy with the way Thursday's vote went down.

"This was a done deal. This is why they held a subsequent meeting after we had our last meeting of the year," Lockett says. "They had counted the votes and they knew if they had the gang of six the votes would be there."

Bowles says that's not the case. He defends the request for a special meeting.

"I got the quorum. There were two votes of my colleagues that I weren't sure which way they going," Bowles says "That's the way it goes sometimes."

But some commissioners are still worried.

"If you have all the commissioners involved, we come out with a better end result," Lockett says. "But when you only have a few, they have a history of showing it's been nothing but failure."

The lease is for $150,000 over ten years.

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