Golf pro to take over Old Avalon

WARREN — Local PGA golf pro Scott Karabin’s company, M2 Management LLC, is expected to be named the next management group to operate the Old Avalon Golf Course beginning in 2019.

As Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa was announcing the administration’s decision to hire the company, Councilwoman Helen Rucker, D-at Large, asked why Karabin’s proposal or the proposals of other applicants were not presented to council prior to the decision being made.

Rucker asked that Karabin, and any other party interested in operating the course, be brought before council to present what they see as the future of the course.

Cantalamessa said Karabin has agreed to manage the course under the same basic agreement that current manager Larry Petrozzi’s Avalon South Management LLC has operated at the course since 2014. In October, Petrozzi announced he did not intend to continue managing the course in 2019.

Karabin’s group will pay the city the equivalent in property taxes the city owes to the county. The proposed contract is for five years.

“He has agreed to begin preparing the course for the winter and next spring,” Cantalamessa said. “He will begin the process and submit any expenses to the city.”

In January, after all of the 2018 expenses are calculated, the city will determine how much Petrozzi owes the city, including $12,000 in escalators he previously had been told was due.

Rucker said she had concerns about the current management company of the golf course, especially the fact that he was looking for his replacement before making the announcement he did not intend to operate it in 2019.

“I don’t believe we should sign an agreement with anyone before presentations are presented to council,” Rucker said. “I have some questions.”

She questioned why the process of searching for a new management company has been secretive.

Mayor Doug Franklin said the administration has the authority to negotiate and sign a contract for the operation of the course without obtaining authorization from council.

However, Franklin said the administration has been very open about the search for a new operator.

A council as a whole meeting is expected to be called for 4 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers.

Cantalamessa said proposals for the operation of the course ranged from the management company paying the property taxes to the city paying a company more than $200,000 to manage the course.

In addition to discussing the golf course, Cantalamessa also intends to outline JAC Management’s proposal for operation of Packard Music Hall at Tuesday’s meeting.