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Huntington votes to cut ties with golf course manager

Crab Meadow Golf Course in Northport is one

Crab Meadow Golf Course in Northport is one of two golf courses that the Town of Huntington will now oversee. Credit: Newsday / Jim Peppler

Huntington officials are cutting ties with a Florida-based golf-course manager hired to oversee two town facilities.

The town board voted last month to revoke its license agreement with Integrity Golf Co. of Kissimmee, Florida, for “continued default” of the agreement.

In November 2014 the town board approved a five-year contract with Integrity for the company to oversee Crab Meadow Golf Course in Northport and operate and manage Dix Hills Park Golf Course.

The contract, which began January 2015, had the option to be renewed three times, for five years each time.

But Town Supervisor Frank Petrone said the company did not hold up its side of the contract, failing to pay the town on time and not starting capital projects.

Petrone said even after sending the company written notice of the default and requests for remedy, Integrity officials never responded.

“Our interest in them was because they were going to do a capital project specifically,” Petrone said. “It’s not to our advantage to have them, we’re not gaining anything for the public.”

Integrity president and chief executive Gene Garrote did not respond to requests for comment.

The town board voted 5 to 0 to revoke the license agreement at its Nov. 10 meeting.

Under the agreement, the town was to receive from Integrity a total of $559,500 over five years, or 10 percent of the gross annual revenues, whichever was greater. Capital improvements of $125,000 — or 1.5 percent of collected revenue — were to be undertaken throughout the initial five-year term.

Integrity Golf was to oversee the day-to-day golf operations while the town was to be responsible for the maintenance of the facilities, town officials said.

Town officials said Integrity did improve the landscaping surrounding the signage at both facilities, repaint and replace the carpeting at Crab Meadow, and perform some — but not all — of the required work at the golf shop at Dix Hills.

Integrity also paid for supplies to renovate two upstairs bathrooms at both facilities and for supplies to renovate the lobby at Crab Meadow. They also shared part of the cost of a new gazebo for Crab Meadow.

However, town officials said Integrity failed to create a grill room for year-round use, update the bar and add more observational seating, and replace the patio tent with a more permanent structure at Crab Meadow. The golf shop at Dix Hills also was never completely overhauled, they said.

Petrone said the town will take over management of the golf courses, but would issue another request for proposals for the job.

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