Oneonta council authorizes mayor to accept golf course


In a rescheduled Thursday meeting, the Oneonta City Council authorized Mayor Ross Norris to accept deeds to Heritage Golf course and its Twin Oaks club house. The acceptance is contingent upon receipt of value assessments of the properties prior to Dec. 31.

Asked by councilman Danny Robinson what would happen if the valuations ran below what owner Beth Ann Mashburn anticipated, city attorney Alex Smith indicated the city could cancel the authorization. City manager – economic developer Ed Lowe expressed the belief that Mashburn would accept the city’s receipt regardless.

Smith explained that Mashburn has no intention of continuing the business beyond Dec. 31. He also advised that for the city’s sake, the valuation was irrelevant.

Prior to his motion to authorize accepting the deed, councilman Richard Phillips explained, as previously, that the city has no desire to run the golf course. The city’s wish is to retain the property as a course to assure property values for the residents. He and others have indicated they hope a third party can be found who will run the course.

In two other city property matters, the council voted to transfer 2.99 acres of land to the county for use as a new DHR (Department of Human Resources) building site. The land lies at the northwest corner of Lemley Drive and Second Avenue West. Should the county fail to obtain funding for the anticipated building, the property will revert to the city. Smith advised an envisioned 2020 date for completion of that possible project.

In the other property matter, the city declared some six inches of city property surplus with its anticipated transfer to Oneonta businessman Robbie McAlpine. McAlpine has purchased property adjacent to a city building on First Avenue East.

McAlpine, reportedly, anticipates constructing a multi-story building using the city building’s wall in common. According to Smith, McAlpine has approval to use the wall on the other side of his property as such. The city building does not reach the property line.

Councilors approved Norris’ request to hold a public hearing at 5:15 p.m., prior to their next Jan. 8 council meeting, to consider adopting the latest FEMA flood plan survey for the city. The city’s approval of such is necessary to help provide flood-protection insurance to property owners within flood-prone areas.

Members reappointed Sheila Gilliland to the city’s public housing authority. They also named Rachel Gargus the city’s representative to the chamber of commerce board.

Councilor Tonya Rogers missed the Thursday, Dec. 27 meeting. All others (Norris, Robinson, Phillips, Hal Blackwood, and Nathaniel Butler) attended. The council recessed into executive session once completing the listed agenda items. Prior to the recess, Norris explained the executive session would consider pending litigation and that the council would take no action other than adjournment once the meeting reconvened.

Oneonta has scheduled its regular meetings the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.