City Approves Extension of Raven Nest Lease

The Item reports [Aug. 18] that the Huntsville City Council unanimously approved a five-year extension with SHSU on the lease on Raven Nest Golf Course:
City Manager Bill Baine recommended the council approve the five-year extension of the lease on the 18-hole golf course, operated by the university’s PGA golf management program, at its last regular meeting Aug. 3. Council members at that meeting discussed issues associated with the lease, such as fixing drainage problems that have plagued the course.

Approval of the lease was originally a consent item on Tuesday night’s agenda, but council member Lanny Ray asked that it be open to further discussion, saying he wanted to mark the significance of the decision. Ray also said he supported the notion, also discussed at the council’s last meeting, that SHSU would buy the golf course outright to retire the debt associated with its construction “so we can continue our philosophy of retiring debt.”

In response to concerns that the lease extension would prompt new and unexpected expenses for repairs to the golf course, Baine assured council members that he would bring to them requests for funds that exceeded the city’s $30,000 cap on spending without council approval. City Attorney Leonard Schneider suggested adding the spending cap to the motion to approve the lease extension. Major J. Turner said the spending cap was already in place and would be superfluous to the motion.

Baine also reassured council that SHSU President Dr. Dana Gibson was willing to discuss construction of a downstream retention pond.

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