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Locust Valley Golf Club Owner Asks for $800,000 Investment from UST

The troubled property is in desperate need of conservation easement, according to owner Robert Ashford

Locust Valley Golf Club needs township investment -- $800,000 worth -- or the club could be in dire straits, the club owner told the Upper Saucon Board of Supervisors Monday (Dec. 17).

Locust Valley owner Robert Ashford said the club needs $800,000 to fund a conservation easement.

The supervisors did not vote on anything regarding Locus Valley Monday night, athough Ashford has asked for a decision by “early first quarter, 2013.”

Ashford has previously voiced his difficulties in owning the property, having accumulated more than $350,000 in back taxes in the midst of costly projects such as restoring the once-vivacious Manor House that has not had heat in two years.

“In order for it to be successful, it needs a clubhouse with a small restaurant and continued maintenance improvements in order to compete against other local courses,” said Ashford.

Supporters of Ashford’s cause also addressed the board, citing Ashford’s history of success and the golf course’s potential value as reasons why the board should fund the easement.

“Rob has been successful in everything he has done,” said Joe Milutis, an adviser to Ashford. “He has the time, commitment and money to make it one of the finest courses in the Lehigh Valley."

Ashford informed the board that if it is unable to fund the conservation easement, he will have two other options: either Camarra LLC will make significant investments, or the property will become a residential development.

Vice Chairman John Gilda said he believes the exclusiveness of Ashford’s options were a bit shortsighted.

“I think it’s a false premise to say that the township needs to make a financial decision or the golf course will be developed into a residential neighborhood,” Gilda said. “Other conservatories might be interested.”

Mary Lindsay December 20, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I'm sure there is a lot missing from the article and I too dislike the negativity. I'm not originally from this area but if it is truly a landmark then investing in it should be part of the discussion. I don't think the powers to be would just forget about it. I would hate to see homes go up over there. I think we have enough homes and enough people speeding down our roads.
JQ December 20, 2012 at 09:05 PM
We didn't have enough money in the budget last year to replace police vehicles that needed to be replaced or buy a new plow truck that was needed. But now we r going to debate spending almost a million dollars on a golf course?? How about replacing the money lost in the police pension that was lost from the Twp miss management and failure to properly insure its Officers prior to Officer Petzold being killed in the line of duty??
Jennifer Moyer December 20, 2012 at 09:06 PM
During the first election of Obama (Nov. 2008), an open space referendum lost at the ballot box by about 33 votes of more than 7,000 cast. If the referendum question had won, the township might have had suficient funds to seriously consider purchasing development easements. The public spoke on the matter.
Elizabeth Rich December 20, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Hi everyone, Thanks for writing in! To be honest, I am trapped in a Midwest airport because of the snowstorm. I am attempting to reach the freelancer, and will clarify ASAP!
slyfox December 21, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Hey Elizabeth - stay safe & send us pics of your snowman! ;o)

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