DENHAM SPRINGS – A 61-year-old country club will have a new owner and a new name by the end of this week.
Parks and Recreation of Denham Springs (PARDS) unanimously approved purchase of the Denham Springs Country Club for $186,958.54. The sale price reflects the amount owed to Bank of Zachary, which had the mortgage on the property.
PARDS will rename the country club “The Pines at North Oaks.”
By assuming the debt from the consortium-owned facility, PARDS will make a full swing at golf at a fire sale price. Appraisers valued the 56.049-acre lot – which also includes a building and swimming pool – at $1.5 million.
But Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor’s website listed the assessed value at $34,580, which represented 15 percent of fair market value for commercial property, as mandated by the Louisiana Tax Commission.
A dilapidated clubhouse and a swimming pool in disrepair contributed in part to the low assessment, Taylor said. The lack of homes around the nine-hole golf course also weakened the value.
Tough competition from the newer Greystone Country Club in Denham Springs and Carter Plantation in Springfield also cut into the value.
“Greystone and Carter both have 18 holes, and Denham Springs has only nine, which also affects the value,” Taylor said.
The DSCC board of directors approached PARDS with the offer to buy the property, according to board chairman Jimmy Purvis.
PARDS Superintendent Gary Templeton said the move marks a good investment to expand the services for residents.
The district gave the go-ahead on purchase as its balance hovers around $1.5 million, he said.
A 15-mill property tax funnels $2.5 million of the $4.3 million annual budget. The remaining $1.8 million comes from fees and rentals of PARDS facilities.
The proposal brought questions from residents who live near South Park, the PARDS recreational facility on Vincent Road. Residents at the meeting told the board they wanted additional amenities and improvements to the facilities already in place at South Park.
Requests ranged from improvement of the roads through the park and repairs of fences that surround the facility. Others requested construction of a multipurpose facility on the site, which would accommodate horse shows and 4-H livestock events.
District 5 Livingston Parish Councilman R.C. “Bubba” Harris, whose district includes South Park, said he understood the decision by PARDS because of the low cost for the property.
He told the board his constituents pay the same tax rate as District 3.
Harris and District 3 Councilman Maurice “Scooter” Keen both urged members to focus on improvements at South Park.
Chairman Purvis said he disagreed with the notion of “North vs. South” on recreation districts.
“All I’ve ever thought of this being was one district," he said