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Abbeville Mayor to present letter of intent for golf course lease

City Council to discuss issue during Tuesday’s meeting

Earlier this month, the Abbeville City Council voted to allow Mayor Mark Piazza to enter into negotiations with the owners of Vermilion Oaks on a lease that would have the city take over operations of the golf course.
Council members will see the fruit of those negotiations this week.
During this Tuesday’s regular city council meeting, which will begin at 5:30 p.m., Piazza will present a letter of intent from Magdalen Square IV, L.L.C., which is made up of members of the Broussard family. The letter of intent sets forth terms and conditions of the potential lease between the city and the owners.
“Magdalen Square IV is willing to lease Vermilion Oaks Golf Course to the City of Abbeville,” Piazza said Friday afternoon.
Piazza spoke on some of the details of the proposed lease during a Golf-Country Club Advisory Committee meeting.
The initial lease will be for three years, with rent being $1,000 per month. After the first three years, the city will have the option for two additional three-year terms. Rent would be adjusted slightly after the first three years, based on the Consumer Price Index, U.S. City Average.
During its study of the city taking over operations of the course, the golf committee members came up with an estimate of $90,000 start-up cost to get the course ready. Vermilion Oaks has been closed since last October. As part of the proposed lease, Magdalen Square IV will cover $20,000 of that start-up cost.
“That is very generous of the family to offer this,” Piazza said.
Once the lease is finalized, the city will be responsible for all maintenance and aspects of operating of the course. The mayor said before anything is finalized, they will do a walkthrough at the course to check the facilities and equipment.
Piazza said the lease will also include the option for the city to opt out at any time.
“If the city decides that it’s not what we bargained for,” Piazza said, “or for any reason, we can opt out. They are going to want something in a 60 or 90-day notice, but we will make sure we have the ability to opt out.”
Magdalen Square IV will have the option to sell the course at any point during the lease. However, if that should occur, the city will be reimbursed $50,000.
Piazza stressed the letter is not a binding agreement. That will have to be finalized between the Abbeville City Council and Magdalen Square IV.
Councilman Francis Touchet Jr., who is on the golf committee, said Friday that he is looking forward to hearing from his fellow council members, and anyone else, on Tuesday.
“We want feedback,” Touchet said. “We said from the beginning that this was going to be transparent.
“We want to put everything on the table.”
Piazza thanked the people on the other side of the negotiating table for making this process a smooth one.
“I want to thank the family,” Piazza said. “Their heart is in the betterment of the city.
“They want to make this work for the city’s benefit.”

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