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Gazette Premium Content Fountain residents may get Appletree Golf Course project up and running

2 photos photo - 2010 file photo of Fountain's Appletree Golf Course which has been deteriorating since a sale and subsequent foreclosure. Mark Reis, The Gazette + caption
2010 file photo of Fountain's Appletree Golf Course which has been deteriorating since a sale and subsequent foreclosure. Mark Reis, The Gazette
By Matt Steiner Updated: August 7, 2014 at 6:53 pm

The quest by the city of Fountain to reopen the Appletree Golf Course ran into a bit of a speed bump in late June, but a group of passionate residents might just be able to provide some hope.

"Everyone is waiting," said Cyndy Scriven, a resident leading a fundraising push to keep a possible revival alive.

"They can't wait for it to open because they love to play this course," she said of the golfing community in the Fountain area.

Fountain city officials made a deal in early 2014 to bring new life to the golf course, which has deteriorated since a sale and subsequent foreclosure in 2011. But on June 24, the city council voted unanimously to withdraw a service plan that would have created the Appletree Recreation and Mosquito Control Metropolitan District around the course located near Marksheffel and Peaceful Valley roads.

That decision was made after one of four homeowners associations voted against forming the district and raising taxes to help support the golf course, Scriven said.

"The metro district is definitely off the table for good," said Fountain Community Services Director Dave Smedsrud. "That doesn't mean we're not trying to get the golf course open through private investment."

Smedsrud and Scriven each said an effort is in full force to raise enough money by the Dec. 1 deadline in order to keep the project going.

Rialto Capital Advisors, which owns the 156-acre golf course, agreed to a tentative deal in which Appletree and $1 million would be given to the city for an assessment and face-lift for the course. While Smedsrud said a private/public partnership is no longer in play, Scriven said Rialto is still willing to throw in the $1 million if the remaining sum of about $1.6 million for renovations can be obtained.

Scriven said the golf course was almost completely renovated in late 2011 when Morley Golf sold the golf course for $1.45 million, just nine percent of what he owed on a defaulted loan. She said it was "getting ready to open."

Morley added five new holes, put in a sprinkler system, installed cement cart paths and began remodeling the clubhouse, Scriven said, noting that it will take about $400,000 to complete the clubhouse. The Appletree Community organization, which will hold its first meeting Monday, hopes the clubhouse can serve as a community center as well as golf course headquarters.

Scriven said the group aims to have a golf company match Rialto's $1 million. That would leave about $600,000 left to complete the makeover to the course. She added that the community organization is negotiating with one company but isn't ready to release any further information.

"We're really close," she said.

According to Scriven, Monday's community meeting will be used to form a steering committee to represent HOAs in the area. She said anyone interested is invited to attend the 6:30 p.m. get-together at Restoration Church, 9355 Pleasant Valley Rd.

"When we had to pull the service plan, there were some hard feelings," Scriven said. "We're trying to bridge that gap and bring the community back together."

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Contact Matt Steiner: 636-0362

Twitter @gazsteiner

Facebook: Matt Steiner

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