The title to about 200 acres of land just west of Hodge where the Advance Country Club is located, is not clear, and would not likely be eligible for a bank loan, Jonesboro attorney Steve Gatlin told the Jackson Parish Recreation District’s Board of Directors at last night’s meeting.
Said Gatlin, “Technically, in this situation, the bank wouldn’t loan you the money because of the glitch in the title.”
The recreation district has been contemplating purchasing the facility and continuing its operation as a golf course. If the deal were consummated, the district would likely pay cash, and not borrow any money – Gatlin merely used the loan as an illustration of the title issue.
The problem is that when the land was first purchased from Continental Can Company (CCC) in the 1960′s, the seller retained a “right of first refusal” if/when the purchaser ever decided to sell.
As CCC evolved into other companies (Continental Group, Continental Hodge Woodlands, Louisiana Minerals, etc) it appears that the “right of first refusal” never transferred to the newer owners. Therefore, that “right” is a tangible asset that still belongs to whatever remnant businesses of CCC that may still exist.
Were the country club to be bought by the recreation district without satisfying this issue, the owners of the “right” could assert it, and have a claim against the property, Gatlin noted. He suggested that the board allow Advance an opportunity to work on the issue before moving forward with any purchase.
It was decided that Gatlin should write Advance a letter and advise them of what the legal research had revealed.
In other business, the board hired Tommy Smith as executive director. Smith, from Quitman, had been the director for several years in the mid 90′s. Most recently, he has been employed with the Louisiana Methodist’s Children’s Home in Ruston.
Plans for development of the 120-acre tract of land that the district owns between Nine Pines and Weston was briefly discussed by Ruston engineer Paul Riley.
Bids have been taken on construction of a building, and there was discussion of applying for grants – one for trails, and another for outdoor recreation.
Finally, a 5% cost-of-living raise for employees was tabled until the board could find out what annual raises, if any, were being granted to Jackson Parish Police Jury (JPPJ) employees, and to try and stay within those guidelines.