Dying a Slow Death? Brigantine Golf and EHT’s Emerald Links Course.

Are the Links at Brigantine Golf Course problems similar to the challenges in EHT? For years, Brigantine taxpayers have paid dearly to bail out the failing course in Brigantine. Fast forward to today, the course is in even deeper trouble, as City Manager Stinson has yet to share monthly numbers.

Mayor Guenther’s slap down of the Ron Jaworski Golf Management team was the island’s likely last shot at saving the dying Brigantine Links.

Over in EHT, they have similar problems…. as seen in the Beachcomber News:

EHT taxpayers’ money bailing out golf course

Egg Harbor Township’s white elephant is caught in a sand trap, located along Ocean Heights Avenue, and is otherwise known as the Emerald Links Golf Course.

Back in 2002, Mayor Sonny McCullough and the township committee built the golf course on top of the old dump. Many of us were elated that the dump was gone. What we didn’t know was that local golf professionals had recommended against building the course because they knew it would never be able to repay its $11 million cost.

Over the years, Emerald Links revenues have fallen way short of expectations, and the Township Committee has bailed the course out with taxpayers’ money. As the Democratic candidate for Township Committee in November, I stand squarely against using tax dollars to subsidize a failing golf course.

This elephant is struggling along at a time when Atlantic County has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation, and when the Taj Mahal Casino is closing. And when township property taxes are rising.

A 2015 Open Public Records Act inquiry found that the township approved paying the Emerald Links debt service — its mortgage was $700,000 in 2012, $600,000 in 2013, and $550,000 in 2014.

I maintain transparency must be strengthened in the Township Committee. We need to reinstitute the Citizen’s Budget Review Committee such as existed in the township in the 1990s, when the Democrats controlled the Township Committee.

Murray Blum

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