For the second time in 2 years, the city of Woodward is looking at terminating the lease agreement with the organization running the Boiling Springs Golf Course.
During their upcoming meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, Woodward City Commissioners are slated to consider approving a proposed mutual termination of the city's lease agreement with JCLA Enterprises LLC.
If approved, the termination will take effect on Sept. 16. That is almost 2 years to the date from when city commissioners voted on Sept. 15, 2010 to terminate the former lease with the Boiling Springs Golf Association (BSGA).
The BSGA had previously operated the course since it was built more than 3 decades ago.
However financial problems, which left the association without the revenue to fund operations at the golf course, forced BSGA to request to terminate its lease in 2010.
After that termination the golf course was closed for several months while the city advertised for and reviewed proposals from other organizations interested in leasing the facility.
In February 2011, city commissioners approved entering into a 5-year lease agreement with JCLA Enterprises LLC to operate the golf course. By April 2011 the golf course was reopened for play.
But in July 2011 an incident involving a woman who stripped naked during a tournament at the golf course brought the city some embarrassment.
At the time, City Manager Alan Riffel said the incident didn't fit in with the city's expectations of following "honorable principals and values while operating the golf course."
Riffel also noted that if there were “Any further incident that crosses the line of principles and values, we will terminate the lease.”
It is unclear whether the proposed mutual termination agreement was spurred by such another incident.
Woodward County Sheriff's Office was called out to the golf course on the evening of Aug. 17, 2012 relative to some sort of party at the facility. However, Sheriff Gary Stanley told The News that no law enforcement action was taken in response to the call.
There have also been recent complaints from the public about the conditions of the greens at the course. Under the city's lease agreement with JCLA, the lease can be terminated "upon the failure or default of Lessee in the performance of its covenants," which includes maintenance of the golf course.
However, on July 11, a fire destroyed the maintenance building at the golf course which housed the entire fleet of equipment and a full stock of chemicals used in the care of the course.
The proposed termination agreement doesn't give a reason for ending the lease. It only outlines that the city and JCLA "mutually, desire to terminate the Lease Agreement and Security Agreement dated February 22, 2011, effective immediately."
Both City Manager Alan Riffel and Assistant City Manager Doug Haines were out of the office on vacation Friday and were unavailable for comment on the matter.
Update: Jonathan Hart, one of the managing parnters of JCLA Enterprises, e-mailed a prepared statement concerning the mutual termination to the Woodward News on Monday evening.
Here is the text of the prepared statement.
"Given the enormous difficulties in maintaining and rebuilding the golf course following the July fire that destroyed the maintenance building and equipment, Chris Moya and I agree with the City Council that a fresh start is best for the future of Boiling Springs Golf Course.
"I want to especially thank the members of the Mooreland, Mutual, Sharon and Woodward fire departments who battled the blaze in extreme heat and dangerous conditions for more than three hours. They are true heroes.
"Over the past two years I have greatlly enjoyed the friendship and support of many talented golfers here in Woodward and wish only the best for Boiling Springs Golf Course and the people of Woodward."
- Jonathan Hart
City commissioners are also slated to take action Tuesday to amend portions of the Code of Ordinances to expand the enforcement of orders from the city's code officers.
Changes have been proposed to Section 70.003 "Duty of Police and Fire Department; Obedience to officers," which would allow the city to potentially charge a fine of $250 against someone who fails or refuses to comply with any lawful order or direction given by a code officer. Currently the ordinance outlines that the $250 fine could be charged for failing or refusing to comply with orders from police or fire officials.
City commissioners will also act on the continuation of a lease agreement with Mewbourne Oil Company regarding the placement of a radio antenna on the city's water tower by the airport.
The city commission meeting will be held Tuesday as city offices will be closed Monday in honor of the Labor Day holiday.