A first draft of the rental rules governing the ballroom and the conference room on the second floor of the golf course has been drafted.
Ray DeFalco, director of parks and recreation, presented his seven-page draft to city council at its Feb. 7 meeting. According to the document, the so-called Great Hall measures 40 by 29 feet with eight 60-inch round tables and 60 chairs. The conference room is 300 square feet with tables and chairs. Both units have access to a catering kitchen and technology, including Wi-Fi.
“The newly constructed clubhouse at the Jamestown Golf Course provides space that can be rented out for small functions, meetings and events,” the proposed application reads. “Our large room can comfortably accommodate 50 to 60 people. This room offers sweeping westerly views over the beautiful fairways of the Jamestown Golf Course. Our second-floor conference room can accommodate meetings of up to 12 people.
The cost of renting the Great Hall for five hours Monday through Thursday is $200 for residents, $250 for nonprofits, and $300 for nonresidents. For Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the cost increases by $100, and there is also a cost of $75 per hour if the event exceeds five hours.
For the conference room, a three-hour rental is $75 for residents and $100 for non-residents. Overtime costs $25 and $35 per hour respectively. Hours available are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. According to the project, “considerations can be made for waiving rental fees by community organizations and local civic groups.”
All caterers must come from the list of approved companies. Events with non-catered food, such as potlucks, sandwich platters, and pizza nights, have access to the kitchen. Alcohol is permitted through a licensed bartending service. Self-service bars and BYOB events are prohibited.
Renters and caterers must be insured. A deposit is required to reserve a room and a $400 security deposit must be received 30 days prior to the event. The rented room must be “clean and returned to the state in which it was found”, otherwise the deposit may be confiscated.
Residents can reserve rooms from every day of the year for the following 24 months. Reservations by non-residents open March 1 each year for that calendar year only.
“I think it’s a really good start,” DeFalco said.
However, two provisions of the draft were discussed. Councilor Randy White asked about the condition which says “under no circumstances may a tenant or their guests access the clubhouse, bar, bathrooms, deck and patio of the golf course or any hole on the golf course, including any greens, fairways or staging areas operated by the Jamestown Golf Course.
“I understand why you want the event to remain separate and tenants not to interfere with golf course operations,” he said, “but why would we exclude people renting the venue from use the bar?”
According to White, since it is a public course, everyone is welcome to access the first floor of the clubhouse for a beer, even if they are not playing golf. The first floor is leased by Joe Mistowski’s company, New England Golf Course Management.
DeFalco said it was “out of respect” for the tenant operating the course to prevent second-floor tenants from “walking the deck and walking the greens.” While he didn’t say the provision would be strictly enforced if one of the two people went down for a beer, the language at least gives the city the ability to enforce the rule if something goes wrong. Councilor Mike White said he agreed with that sentiment, but thought the wording was too strict.
“Is there a way to soften the language?” He asked.
“Absolutely,” DeFalco replied. “We can do it no problem.”
The second concern cited by council was parking. According to the plan, the golf course during high season has “extremely limited parking” and the tenant on the second floor “may be required to hire a valet or streetcar.” City administrator Jamie Hainsworth said the agreement with Mistowski states that the course operator has “priority with respect to available parking spaces.”
Councilman Randy White wondered if the course operator would try to enforce this priority if guests attending an event on the second floor could find parking spaces, and golfers arriving after them were not. . Mary Meagher, vice chair of the board, had similar concerns.
“I think what’s going to happen is somebody’s going to rent this property and they won’t find a place to park because if you’ve driven by the golf course in peak season there’s no no place to park,” she said. “This parking lot is completely full. I think it’s a place of extreme conflict.
Advisors have asked to explore a deal with the shipyard across the street. They didn’t give DeFalco a deadline to come back with a second draft, but adviser Randy White offered to work with him privately.
“I just wonder how we structure all of this,” Meagher said. “It becomes very difficult in the season when they overlap. I have real questions about this. I think it’s a start, but I don’t know if it will work.