Gainesville Country Club closed until October due to maintenance, financial woes

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 2:41 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Trouble paying taxes and utility bills has the Gainesville Country Club closed, however, the general manager says maintenance issues are the reason the club will remain closed until October.

Thursday some people showed up to hit golf balls, not realizing the course was closed. Online there was no notice the course was closed.

Gainesville Regional Utilities shut off the power at the golf course due to an unpaid bill of nearly $39,000.

The Alachua County Tax Collector also posted a notice of pending levy and seizure. The tax collector says the notice was taken down after the club entered a payment plan.

RELATED: Power shut off at the Gainesville Country Club

Despite the financial woes, General Manager Tj Wrzesinski says the club is closed until October for maintenance. While that is going on, people can’t play on the golf course.

The Gainesville Country Club said in a statement, “As with any facility of this age, there are times when additional efforts of maintenance are needed. We recognized an opportunity, during this off-season, to temporarily suspend operations to allow the course some rest from traffic”.

Some people neighboring the course question the owner, Joseph Hernandez, due to his past financial issues. He previously promised the University of Florida $10 million to fund a new chemistry building, but later reneged on the deal.

RELATED: The University of Florida removes Joseph Hernandez name from chemistry building

“I was a little surprised because he made such a big deal out of it,” said resident James M. Dell III. “When you renege on a donation to the university, as he did. There might be some suspicions that things were not what they appeared to be. We will go to the country club or not,”

In Florida, many golf courses are in residential neighborhoods. Dell says if the club shuts down permanently it may impact home sales in the area.

“This is not going to impact it that much because people like living out here; they come out and buy houses. People that don’t play golf have been buying up these houses as soon as they go on the market, “said Dell.

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