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Country club aims to recover

Officials are eager to finally finish project thrashed by winter storms.

May 22, 2010|By Melanie Hicken

CITY HALL — In December, Glendale Water & Power officials issued a statement celebrating the completion of a two-year, $30-million replacement of the Chevy Chase Reservoir.

The statement, which announced an official groundbreaking ceremony, lauded the project’s on-time completion, including the reconfiguration of Chevy Chase Country Club, which lies above the massive reservoir.

Two days later, flooding ravaged the golf course.

The forecasted storm caused a natural stream near the course to overflow, sending water and debris rushing onto the green, tearing out much of the newly laid sod covering the reservoir and damaging the irrigation system. Later, more sod was ripped out as city crews worked to stop the flooding.

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“It was trashed,” said Kyle Marshall, the golf course superintendent. “All that green grass that you see now was all leaves and cans. The sod was gone. It all washed downstream.”

That damage dealt a major setback in the city’s efforts to restore the golf course to playable condition by Dec. 31, 2009, as required by a $2.1-million settlement between the city and country club. Project managers ultimately missed the deadline — sending city and country club officials back to the bargaining table.

The city ultimately agreed to pay the country club an additional $400,000 to cover the remaining landscaping work, which the club agreed to oversee, under a second settlement agreement finalized in March. Hole No. 5, out of commission for more than two years during construction, finally reopened earlier this month.

Club officials argued that the golf course issues stemmed from more than the storm damage, citing that the subcontractor chosen for the landscaping work had no prior golf course experience and was not doing timely or adequate work.

“We agreed to take over the project, notwithstanding the liabilities and the risks involved, just because we were in a position where it affected our business,” said Robert Ahn, a managing member of Chase Oak, the club’s new owner. “We were losing members. Members weren’t generally happy with the course condition.”

At the same time, the city recently awarded SEMA with a $500,000 contractually obligated bonus payment for completing the reservoir on time, despite the delays on the golf course re-landscaping.

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