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City council in no hurry on GreatLIFE donation agreement

A donation pledge agreement involving the GreatLIFE Golf and Fitness Facility was met with a mostly cool reaction from members of the Worthington City Council during a special meeting Wednesday afternoon.

A proposal was received from GreatLIFE’s Tom Walsh, Sr. that would deed the facility to the city contingent upon the city appointing GreatLIFE to operate, maintain and manage it. The initial term of the operations appointment is three years with mutual options of one-year renewals thereafter.

GreatLIFE Worthington encompasses approximately 118 acres and includes an 18-hole golf course, clubhouse, restaurant, fitness center, swimming pool, and maintenance and cart buildings. All facility equipment including golf course maintenance vehicles and equipment, kitchen and restaurant equipment, furniture, fixtures and furnishings would be retained by GreatLIFE under the proposal.

The city, meanwhile, would have obligations under the proposal that include: improvements necessary to comply with ADA requirements as determined by state and local building codes; all costs and expenses associated with facility capital improvements; maintaining an adequate supply of irrigation water from Lake Okabena, and costs of all necessary chemicals and fertilizers utilized in the maintenance of the golf course grounds. These obligations were each met with varying degrees of concern from council members.

Worthington City Attorney Jeffrey Flynn told the council that he believed Walsh’s biggest concern is irrigation of the golf course. Flynn was directed by the council Wednesday to further research state statutes regarding use of water and related issues such as riparian rights.

Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson said city staff would not move forward with any aspect of the proposal without direction from the council. No official action of any kind was taken during Wednesday’s meeting.

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