The Devine City Council was set to review corrections to its contract with Devine Golf Group, LLC, during a press night meeting on Tuesday, March 15.
Those corrections initially came up during discussion between Council and DGG members at the Special meeting on Mar. 1, when Council voted unanimously to approve a golf course management agreement with DGG (see “Devine Golf Group awarded golf course management contract” in the Mar. 9 edition of The Devine News).
District 4 Councilwoman Kathy Lawler raised a concern about the 10-year length of the agreement.
“The reason for the 10-year lease is if we have expenses, like having to redo greens, it’s about $50,000 to redo one green,” DGG member Brian Navarro said. “So [if] we have to redo nine, we have a two- or three- or four-year agreement, we can’t see the return on investment of our money.”
Navarro suggested having the course assessed every few years by an outside entity such as the United States Golf Association.
Lawler recalled that Jerry Stevens of Charlie’s Daughter said at a previous meeting that items from Charlie’s II were in storage and could be used in the clubhouse restaurant rather than waiting for all of the equipment purchased by the City to arrive and be installed.
“So could we change that wording, instead of turnkey, to workable, until everything is in?” Lawler asked.
“Yeah, absolutely,” DGG’s Jay Dishman replied. “I mean, we’re here to work together.”
District 5 Councilwoman Debra Randall said that getting a Certificate of Occupancy would let everyone know that the work inside the clubhouse was up to code.
Stevens said there were still issues inside the restaurant portion of the clubhouse that need to be addressed for it to be functional, but said that Charlie’s Daughter has access to a number of coolers and freezers that they can make work until the delivery of a large walk-in refrigerator/freezer at a later date.
“Can we make it work in the time being until that piece of equipment comes? I believe we can,” Stevens said. “It’s definitely something that we will have to manage, both parties, but I think we can until that unit arrives.”
The plumbing issues at the club house were also discussed. Public Works Director Rob Flores said drainage issues stemming from the swimming pool next door were affecting the clubhouse. Flores said City crews can address the issue, but that an easement from pool owners Scott and Shirl Grego, formerly of SG Golf Management, may be required.
Randall asked that a list of leased equipment be included in the contract, which the DGG agreed to supply. The group plans to lease and/or purchase equipment on its own after current leases have expired.
Additionally, the City and DGG agreed to split the cost of repairs to water wells if necessary, and that in the case of a natural disaster or other form of destruction, the City may choose to rebuild aspects of the course but not be required to.
Prior to discussing the contract, Randall called for a point of personal privilege and read a lengthy prepared statement criticizing Pichardo for, among other things, posting DGG’s contract proposal on Facebook prior to the meeting and calling for her immediate resignation.
Pichardo pointed out that the proposal was not marked confidential.
“I want to go on record by saying that she be suspended with an investigation and her not be allowed to make any decisions regarding the Devine Golf Course,” Navarro said.
Pichardo, along with the rest of the Council, later voted to approve the City’s management agreement with DGG.
Nothing regarding Pichardo’s place on Council was on the Mar. 15 meeting agenda.
The archived live stream of the Mar. 1 and Mar. 15 meetings are available on the City website at cityofdevine.org/live-council-meetings/.
By Marly Davis