City continues move toward Mystic Creek ownership

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. planned a special meeting Nov. 19 with a Milford golf business owner to discuss negotiations after the city officially took over Mystic Creek Golf Club & Banquet Center in late October.

O’Reilly said he planned to meet with Jim Dewling, president and CEO of Total Golf Inc., to move along the negotiation agreement, which included a business transfer agreement of Mystic Creek operations.

Mystic Creek is a privately-run 27-hole golf facility and banquet center in Camp Dearborn.

“If everything goes well we have to go to (City) Council and if they agree we may be on track for the full transfer of everything,” O’Reilly said. “We are hoping to get (the transfer) done before the Thanksgiving recess.”

During an Oct. 30 city council meeting, in a 5-0 vote, councilors approved a temporary $260,000 budget to operate the facility.

According to a published report, the city will take the money from its fund balance while Camp Dearborn Manager Lee Morris prepares a budget for the remaining fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2013.

Greg Orner, director of Dearborn’s Recreation and Parks Department, said Dewling said he would not keep up with payments to Dearborn for the 52-year lease agreement and he was likely to move away from facility operations, according to the report.

“The $260,000 (is) a snapshot of the entire year,” Orner said during the meeting, “so we don’t expect to expend that full amount during the off-season.”

Orner said that because the city doesn’t know precise figures for projected revenue and expenditures, they wanted to make sure they had enough time to establish a “firm balance” of their 2013 budget.

O’Reilly said Dewling made it clear he will not continue to operate the golf course.

“So either it is a hostile thing where he will just leave and we’ll just have to pick up the pieces or we negotiate, which is what the intent is here,” O’Reilly said during the meeting.

O’Reilly said the golf course will be the city’s fiscal responsibility either way.

Councilman David Bazzy asked during the meeting if the city is prepared to run the golf course.

“The reality is that we are not going to be paid by (Dewling) anymore,” Bazzy said.

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at