Cary parks looks to buy Chalet Hills Golf Club

CARY – The Cary Park District has confirmed it is discussing whether to buy Chalet Hills Golf Course.

The bank-owned golf club is in foreclosure and for sale.

Discussions by the Cary Park District Board about buying the golf club are taking place in executive sessions, the park district said in a news release.

“Over the past few weeks, there has been much discussion among the community regarding the Cary Park District, Chalet Hills Golf Club, and the performance of Foxford Hills Golf Club,” Director of Communications and Marketing Katie Hughes said. “This seemed to be the appropriate time to provide information on these items and address concerns residents may have.”

The board’s intention is to decide in the next couple of months whether to buy the golf club, Hughes said.

It would be the park district’s second golf course. It bought Foxford Hills Golf Club in 2004.

“A second golf course would enable the park district to provide additional golf opportunities plus restaurant and banquet facilities to residents,” Hughes said.

In its news release, the Cary Park District said the Foxford Hills Golf Club is not supported by property taxes. The purchase of Foxford Hills also did not lead to an increase in property taxes, it said. “Under park district ownership, Foxford Hills Golf Club has been operated as an independent, self-supporting business.”

Since the park district purchase in 2004, the golf club has brought in $1.8 million. The club has helped offset $160,000 in other park district expenses.

Foxford also has provided $187,000 since 2004 for the park district’s capital projects fund, which recently paid for construction of the 1.8-mile Cary Community Trail adjacent to Cary-Grove Park and the Dog Park at Hoffman Park.

“The board of commissioners is examining the potential purchase of Chalet Hills Golf Club to determine whether it can provide a long-term benefit to residents without increasing taxes as Foxford Hills Golf Club has done,” the park district said. “The board of commissioners remains committed to working within its means to continue to provide exceptional recreation, parks and open space opportunities to the residents of the Cary Park District.”

Cary resident Joanne Daubner is a critic of buying a second golf course. The district potentially would be competing against itself, she said.

“There are only so many golfers to go around here,” Daubner said.

The golf course is in foreclosure and might have high costs to bring it back up to good condition, she said, comparing such a purchase to buying a car at a low price.

“If you buy cheap, it will have high maintenance,” Daubner said. “It’s not just the purchase; it’s the ongoing maintenance.”

Daubner said the district should use its available money to lower taxes, provide programs that benefit everyone or add more activities for children.

She further questioned the wisdom of the purchase because it potentially would take the golf course off tax rolls.

Daubner also said the park district board should get a lot more public input before making a purchase decision.

“I vote them in because I trust them to represent us,” Daubner said. “They’re going to hear from me when I feel I lost trust in them and they’re not representing us.”

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