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Mayor to Town Council: What’s golf course worth?

Greenfield’s Mayor William Martin is interested in the town buying the Meadows Golf Course in Greenfield.  
Recorder/Paul Franz

Greenfield’s Mayor William Martin is interested in the town buying the Meadows Golf Course in Greenfield. Recorder/Paul Franz

GREENFIELD — The mayor plans to ask the Town Council this month how much it would be willing to pay for the 80-year-old Meadows Golf Course on Deerfield Street.

The current asking price is $570,000, said Martin.

“There are endless opportunities for that property,” said Martin. “We would have space to expand our treatment plant and we could put several parks there. We could also create a ‘gateway’ there and certainly have access to the river.”

Martin said parks could include a toddler water park, a dog park and a skate park.

He said the town collects only $12,000 a year in real estate taxes, so he believes it would be better for the town to control the property than to lose such a small amount from the tax rolls.

“We could look at using a park grant to help us pay the purchase price,” said Martin. “The thing is, the property could end up being a big draw to residents and visitors. Economically, this could be huge for Greenfield.”

“The town really needs to consider this,” said Martin. “I just need to know what type of price the council can live with so I can go into negotiations.”

Town Council will meet this month on March 19 at 7 p.m. in the studio in Greenfield Community Television, 393 Main St.

Martin said some suggestions he’s heard have been for the town to either use the clubhouse for town meetings and events or to rent it to others who might do the same. Or, the town could lease the clubhouse to a retailer.

“We could also rent part of the property to someone who would put a chip and putt or miniature golf course there,” he said.

Martin said the town may face a mandate by the state in the near future to build another tank at its wastewater treatment plant adjacent to the golf course near the Green and Deerfield rivers.

“We have no land to do that, so this would be perfect,” said Martin.

He said the town could build the tank on a small piece of the property and still have plenty of room for some of the recreational ideas being tossed around.

“The property is on a flood plain, so there’s not a lot that could be built on the back part of the property,” said the mayor. “A lot could be done closer to Deerfield Street.”

Martin said if the town buys the property, it would be preserving about 50 acres with river frontage.

The property is assessed by the town at $552,098. The golf course and clubhouse were severely damaged after Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.

The most recent owner was Terri White. She bought the Meadows in late 2008 or early 2009, but never purchased flood insurance. The entire golf course ended up under water during Irene and months later, many greens were still buried in mud.

White had said in an interview several months after Irene that the clubhouse’s basement was destroyed, along with a lot of equipment. She said there was “so much work to be done,” and golfers never got back on the course until late 2012.

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