Washoe County Commissioners have agreed to settle an outstanding debt from the company that manages one of the county’s golf courses. That settlement is only for a small fraction of the nearly $2 million owed.
County staff said that Bell-Men Golf Inc. owes the county $1.7 million in licensing and late fees. Bell-Men disputed that amount and said that drought and the county’s care of the course contributed to lost revenue at the course.
Bell-Men representative Darin Menante said that the settlement will eliminate plans for litigation by Bell-Men against the county.
“As far as the past outstanding issues, we have offered a lump sum payment of $120,000 to address the issue of overages, and we have dropped any future plans for litigation relating to the dispute,” he said, also noting that Bell-Men is restructuring its management.
The announcement did not sit well with some commissioners, including Vaughn Hartung.
“This is really difficult for me,” he said. “This is very, very difficult to forgive the debt at some 10 percent of what’s actually, genuinely owed.”
In October, the commission voted to renew its contract with Bell-Men despite the debt. Hartung and commissioner Bob Lucey voted against that move.
Staff also said that Bell-Men gave themselves salary increases during the time period when late fees were accruing.
Commissioners voted to approve the settlement in a three to two vote. Hartung and Lucey voted against the settlement.
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Bob Conrad is publisher, editor, and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011, where he completed a dissertation on social media, journalism and crisis communications. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time research appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.