As we are about to end one year and look ahead to a new one, we take inventory of the past and plan for the future.
As I write these lines, the East Recreation Center is nearing its completion, a $3 million facility that will serve the Oakmont residents for many years to come.
Awaiting us are new challenges. First and foremost is the question of an ailing Golf Club, whose finances are, according to the latest report, in “dire” condition. What exactly does this mean? Are we looking at a looming bankruptcy? What is the given time frame?
We know that the OVA and the OGC have formed respective committees that ostensibly are negotiating toward a resolution. But little to no information is available and, therefore, the residents are reduced to making assumptions to the best of their abilities.
After a long summer of impassioned debate, all manners of proposals have been consolidated and offered to the appropriate agents; they range from soliciting voluntary contribution to the Golf Club, to reserving special funds by OVA to rescue the struggling entity, to carrying its expenses for six months in order to gain time.
One school of thought consists of waiting until foreclosure to acquire the assets of the Golf Club. Another opinion urges the immediate purchase of land, or a buy-in of part or the entire business (all against the background of the IRS; legal and practical obstacles which seem daunting, almost insurmountable.)
A central fact revolves around a $2.5 million loan from the Legacy Bank and some lesser amount from the Small Business Administration for disaster relief. If a default takes place, bank ownership of the operation would occur with a subsequent sale to the highest bidder.
This scenario entails the risk that an outside entity/developer could acquire the assets (225 acres of land and the Quail Inn), thereby denying the OVA control over the future of the golf courses.
A potential scheme has the OVA assuming the outstanding loans for a majority interest in the Golf Club business. In this context, the existing management would continue, under the supervision of the Association, to operate one golf course and the Quail Inn, and abandon a second 18 holes.
This plan would allay the collective anxiety about OVA taking over administration of the entire Golf Club operation. A point of discussion, if not contention, will be the measure and size of the majority stake.
An amount of 51 percent has been floated. Uniformly rejected as much too low, opponents maintain that in a bankruptcy proceeding, the Golf Club would end up empty handed and that neither moral nor ethical considerations should dictate the financial arrangements.
A prior article mentioned the environment of privacy, secrecy and opacity surrounding the negotiation of the Golf Club issue. One fear is prominently voiced, namely the real possibility of a fait accompli announcement by both OVA and the OGC. A decision arrived at without prior informing, let alone consulting, the residents of Oakmont, who will pay the bill, but are compelled to resort to more or less educated guesses about the future of their community.