The Town of Hempstead is seeking to evict its current Lido Golf Club operator as soon as next month as both sides argue over approximately $2 million in disputed repairs and payments.
Attorneys for the operator, Double Eagle Golf, filed for a temporary restraining order against the town Thursday, blocking the town’s takeover of the golf course in Lido Beach, starting June 3.
The Lido Beach-based Double Eagle Golf is also seeking damages of $1.1 million for previous payments to the town and unreimbursed repairs since superstorm Sandy. Double Eagle is claiming a breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraud by the town in its lawsuit.
Hempstead Town officials notified Double Eagle president Angelo Belli on March 23 that the town would take control of the golf course. The town refunded a $10,000 security deposit.
Jeff Sunshine, the attorney for Double Eagle, said that the golf course operators made all capital improvements after they assumed control in 1997.
Double Eagle officials said in court records that the town is canceling its contract as the golf season begins. The town directed Double Eagle in March not to schedule any events after June 3 when its lease expires. The course will close for two weeks while the town assumes operations. The town is not accepting other bids to operate it.
“The approximately 35,000 golfers who play the course annually will be displaced, as will the numerous groups and organizations that depend on the Lido Beach Golf Club to host their annual golf outings,” Belli wrote in an affidavit.
Hempstead Town’s outside counsel, Scarsdale-based attorney Peter Iannace, said Double Eagle never delivered on promises in the contract to make $2.1 million in capital improvements to the golf course, including replacing bridges, irrigation and ADA-compliant bathrooms.
“Conversely, under Double Eagle’s management, the facility has deteriorated to the point it is unsafe for its intended purposes,” Iannace said in court records.
Double Eagle has operated the town-owned golf course for 20 years and said in court documents that the company has made $1.5 million in repairs since superstorm Sandy in 2012 ravaged the course, which faces the South Shore on Reynolds Channel.
Hempstead Town officials have waived licensing fees each year since Sandy, totaling $800,000, to subsidize the cost of the golf course’s repairs, according to court records.
The town ordered Double Eagle to pay $326,911 in February the town said was owed in back payments to continue operating the golf course, according to court records.
Double Eagle was notified a month later that its contract would not be renewed. The golf course operator is seeking the return of the $326,911 and $776,000 owed for the remaining costs of Double Eagle’s Sandy repairs.
Hempstead Town officials said the town operates the Merrick Golf Course and believe they can successfully operate the Lido Golf Club.
Town officials did not comment on the pending legal case.