The Middlesboro City Council met for a special-called meeting on Thursday night to discuss the possibility of entering into a lease of the Middlesboro Country Club.
The leasing of the country club has been an ongoing issue for the past several weeks, ever since the topic was first brought up at a city council meeting. Council members have repeatedly reported at subcommittee and regularly scheduled council meetings that they were fielding questions from the public about details of the possibility of the city entering into a lease with the country club, but members have repeatedly said they did not know what to tell concerned citizens.
The meeting allowed for the public and council members to voice their interests and concerns about the prospect of the city entering into the lease to obtain control of the country club.
Two council members, Lucas Carter and Gary Mills, voiced their concerns about the possible lease of the country club, citing taking on an additional debt at the taxpayer’s expense. Both of the council members had previously voiced concerns about the possible lease at prior council meetings.
Citizen Mike Marcum also voiced his concerns of the council taking on the country club at the meeting.
Numerous members of the country club were present, making their plea for the council to save the historic country club if possible.
The golf course has been around since 1889, with the course being credited by the United States Golf Association as the second oldest course in America. The course started as a full 18 holes, and was established for English settlers coming to Yellow Creek to capitalize on the iron and coal resources in the area. Beginning in the 1920s, the course has diminished in size over the years and is currently a nine-hole course.
No decision was made on Thursday night and the matter has been tabled until next week.
Middlesboro Mayor Bill Kelley has told council members and members of the public, that they are welcome to make an appointment to come to his office to discuss the issue in further detail.
The finance committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and the matter will be discussed in further detail then.
A vote is scheduled to take place at another special-called meeting on Sept. 10. at 6 p.m.
The public can attend either or both of the meetings.
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-302-9091 or on Twitter @ReinaDailyNews.