AMSTERDAM — Preliminary estimates show damage caused by burst water pipes at the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course clubhouse restaurant could cost $80,000 to $90,000 to repair.
Mayor Michael Villa said he met with insurance claim adjusters from the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal on Thursday. NYMIR provides the city’s insurance.
Villa said the cause of the water damage — about 3 feet was dumped into the basement of the clubhouse in early February — remains unknown. He said the heat was turned on for the clubhouse, but the pipes still burst.
“We won’t know until next week, but I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s a claim that will be verified. The heat, obviously, was on. We have bills that certify that, so it’s just an unfortunate event that occurred. Why it occurred, who knows. The same reason people’s pipes freeze in their house,” he said.
Villa said the city has already replaced the furnaces for the clubhouse, but it is likely walls, kitchen equipment and floors will have to be replaced, and damage to the bathrooms and the men’s and women’s locker rooms also needs to be repaired.
The flood also threw a wrench into the city’s plan to generate more badly-needed revenue from the restaurant and bar at the clubhouse. During the 2017-18 fiscal year, the golf course operated with a $169,000 deficit, bringing in $422,500 in revenue with operating costs of $591,550. Fourth Ward Alderman David Dybas said the golf course is on track to have a $256,000 operating deficit for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which ends in June. He said the golf course has an accumulated deficit of $772,000, not counting the current fiscal year.
The city hired golf course pro Kevin Canale in December for $56,000, plus a $20,000 stipend, to operate the restaurant and bar at the clubhouse, with the golf course keeping the profits.
Mayor Michael Villa said the city had contracted for about 15 years with Laura Elmendorf to operate the concessions at the Muni Clubhouse. He said Elmendorf had been able to make a profit, so he’s hopeful the city can do the same.
Canale said he hopes to open the 18-hole course by April 1, weather permitting, but he said there is no way renovations to the clubhouse will be done by then. He said contractors he’s talked to said it will take at least a couple of months to finish repairs.
“We’re going to come up with some alternatives,” he said. “We are considering using the patio, possibly putting up a tent. We’re considering a bunch of different options for what we can do to offer food and beverages at the facility. There’s nothing concrete yet.”
Canale, who ran the municipally-owned concession operation at his previous employer, Brookhaven Golf Course in Porter Corners in Saratoga County, said the Amsterdam clubhouse was designed in the 1930s and had a vintage look to it, with a dining room view of the 9th and 18th holes. He said the size of the dining room is approximately 5,000 square feet.
Canale said he does not anticipate the renovations will change the look of the clubhouse much, but he said there will need to be a complete rebuild of the men’s and women’s locker rooms, the kitchen and parts of the bar and the dining room.
“People are used to the look of the clubhouse,” he said. “It is historic. People have been going there for 40 and 50 years and seeing the same back bar. Right now, the course of action is to tear out what needs to be torn out, get it dried, meet with the insurance companies, our contractor and come up with replacement values. Right now, there are no plans to change anything. We have to work with the insurance company to see what we’ll be afforded to do.”
Villa said he’s told NYMIR that the city needs clarity on the status of its insurance claim as soon as possible.
“We made it clear to the insurance company that it is imperative that we move this process along,” he said.