Turkey Creek

RAINA BARNETT/Alachua County Today

Turkey Creek residents Russ Pisano, 75, and his grandson, Doug McDermott, 15, look out over the Turkey Creek Golf Course from their vantage point of the clubhouse patio.

ALACHUA – The homeowners of Turkey Creek have finally completed the purchase of the community golf course and reopenned the golf club.

An accumulation of over 6,000 volunteer hours spanning just over a year culminated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the newly-renovated golf club Saturday.

It has been a long time coming for the more than 1,200 residents to celebrate an arduous purchase process.

In January 2015, the Turkey Creek Master Owners Association (TCMOA) Board of Directors were anxiously awaiting news that the property had been sold to a private investment, but the deal did not close, and the parties walked away, according to TCMOA Treasurer and Secretary Todd Hutchison.

In the February board meeting, Hutchison brought up the idea that the board of directors should consider making the purchase.

“In March of 2015, we held a workshop at the Santa Fe High School auditorium,” Hutchison said. “We invited all of the community to come out and hear our presentation on a purchase plan. We had several hundred people attend that workshop. We had an overwhelmingly positive response. I would say 90 percent of the people who attended that meeting supported the idea of Turkey Creek Master Owner’s Association purchasing the property.”

The primary goals in the purchase plan were to gain legal control of the dormant and overgrown golf course property for maintenance, to seek a tenant to manage the 152 acres, and for residents to get free use of the pool and tennis court.

From March to October, there were hearings, appraisals, and finally a community vote.

“There is a statute that says 75 percent of the community has to formally approve a purchase, and October 14 is when we learned that we met the 75 percent threshold,” Hutchison said.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony represented many things, including all the hard work, lobbying, and investment in the project coming to reality.

The next step will be locating a management group for the golf course.

On Dec. 28, twenty-five invitations to negotiate (ITN) were sent to prospective tenants to begin the process of finding a golf management company.

“Right now the board has created two committees, a selection committee and a negotiation committee to help find a tenant,” Hutchison said.

The project has brought together hundreds of passionate residents and volunteers who have worked together to bring about the success of the golf course.

“We put together the scope of the budget,” said Renovations and Volunteer Coordinator Carol Walker. “We had walk-throughs with the fire marshal and with contractors to address safety issues and obtain a certification to occupy.”

Marianna Kampa, leader of the Landscape Committee, has invested countless hours with the volunteers.

“Volunteers from the community are key,” she said. “We cleaned up the golf course and worked really hard.”

The anticipated opening date of the pool and tennis court is April 1. This is also when the ITN review and recommendations are scheduled to be completed.

The ITN proposal deadline is Feb. 9. For more information, please visit tcmoa.com.

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