According to Mark Manna, swapping the Audubon golf course for the Westwood Country Club is a no-brainer, a win-win situation for all involved. It sounds like a sweet exchange. Maybe, but not so fast.
Whenever I hear someone begin to pressure one side or the other I have to wonder, “What’s the rush?”
A lot remains to be learned about the proposal for Amherst to swap the Audubon Golf Course for the Westwood Country Club, but the possible upside should be enough for town officials to seriously consider the proposal. Discussions should begin before an opportunity is lost. Whether this is a good deal for taxpayers should be determined following due diligence.
The window could close as the developers have made clear that a long delay would mean taking the idea off the table, and possibly resorting to other options including maintaining the golf course where it is, or developing elsewhere.
That’s the beginning of pressure. Let’s hope our Board does the job they were elected to do. Protect the citizens, not rush to seal a deal that may bite us in the end.
There is much work to be done by both sides: determing exactly how large each parcel of land is, how much money Westwood owes out to vendors, same for Audubon, what condition each facility is in, etc.
Neighbors of both properties must be considered. How will the changes effect their neighborhoods?
The big, bottom line question is, “How much will the Westwood owners be willing to pay Amherst for the Audubon property?” A rough look at the difference in property means Westwood would have to come up with at least $22 million or more.
This Monday, Aug. 6that 3:00 pm in Town Hall, the Supervisor will choose a committee to start the ball rolling in the Westwood/Audubon “deal.” The Westwood people have already sent a package with their particulars concerning Westwood, to Town Board members and others in Town Hall.
Town Board member Mark Manna, out of sheer excitement, has said on TV and radio, this is a win-win “deal.” As of now there is no “deal.” Many things have to be ironed out first.
The public should attend the Aug. 6th3:00 pm meeting to hear what the Town Board members have to say about this “deal.” Each member of the public will have 3 minutes to speak. The public must sign-up on a sheet at the podium before 3:oo pm to be able to speak.
Please take note: This 3:00 pm meeting is not a work session. It is an early official Monday “Night” meeting.