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Country Club is in financial straits

Like hundreds of country clubs and golf courses nationwide, Cairo Country Club is struggling financially.
An emergency meeting of the club’s membership was held Tuesday night to hear an update from Club President Louie Chastain and members of the club’s board of directors.
“We’re down to the wire folks,” Chastain said Tuesday night. Club membership is down to 156 members and the debt service on the $709,211.42 the club owes to Thomas County Federal and United National Bank is making it difficult for the golf course to remain viable.
During the membership meeting Tuesday night held in the club’s ballroom, options were discussed including an assessment on existing club members and a restructuring of dues as well as the possibility of selling the club to a yet-to-be formed corporation made up of members and others interested in preserving the community asset.
Local attorney Thomas L. Lehman was contacted by the club’s board to discuss financial options and a possible reorganization. Lehman shared some observations with club members Tuesday night.
Whereas assessments would be a temporary fix, Lehman noted that paying off the debt owed on the club was the solution to cure the club’s financial issues long term.
The attorney threw out a proposal of selling subscriptions at a cost of $2,500 each. Although no exact plan was agreed upon, Lehman said that at a cost of $2,500 per share more residents of the community would be interested in investing in the club.
“We’ve been battling this for years and I just think it is time that the members make a decision whether they want to save the club or not,” CCC President Chastain said.
The struggling economy has resulted in a drop not only in the club’s membership, but also the rounds of golf played annually at the 18-hole golf course.
Due to the lack of revenue the club is facing a potential foreclosure and closing its doors unless a remedy can be agreed upon by the membership, according to Chastain.
Cairo Country Club was organized in 1960 and celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in March 2010. The original 197 charter members paid $200 each as an initiation fee to form the club.
Club members interested in joining together to form an entity to purchase the assets of the club will meet again next Tuesday night.
President Chastain is calling for a meeting two weeks from Tuesday for the club membership to vote on a variety of options to be presented.

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