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.”