During Tuesday’s meeting of the Pike County Fiscal Court, the court voted to prevent the contractor for the Elk Run golf course from having access to possible incoming funds from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“I received some communication from Mr. Jim Patton, whose company has the management agreement (with the golf course) and he was wondering if, when we recover the FEMA money, if we would give him the money and let him do the work,” Pike Judge-Executive Ray Jones said. “It’s my recommendation that we not allow the current contractor to have those funds.”
The funds are from a project that was submitted to FEMA after last year’s February flood, which damaged parts of the course. According to Pike County Treasurer Frankie Stacy, the funding for that project was approved “probably about a month and a half ago.”
“It was part of a project along with the park at the South Williamson flood wall, as well as a county overlook,” Stacy said. “It all got written into one project when it was submitted and I think the golf course part was around $35,000 to $40,000.”
Giving the federal funds to Patton and his company to spend on the course is something that Jones isn’t sure would even be “proper” without some type of contract that would specify where the money would be going.
“The simple fact of the matter is, I don’t know if it’s even legally permissible, we’re talking about federal monies.” Jones said. “If we’re going to do work on it, it needs to be done by county employees, where we can control the money.”
According to Stacey, the federal funds must be spent on whatever the project was wrote up for, and that if the county was for some reason to pass that money along to Patton’s company and they didn’t do the work, the county would still be liable for it.
“Once you do the project, and if there’s any funds left over, we can use them on another aspect of the course,” Stacy said. “If we do it ourselves we could potentially save money there.”
The Elk Run golf course has been closed, and will likely remain closed until officials can find a cost-efficient way to fix the course’s well documented problems.