In their meeting Monday night, the Aurora City Council approved an agreement to use Ohio EPA taxpayer funds to give a whopping $3.9 million to current Aurora Golf Club owner Hunter Banbury, so together they can shut down the golf course and turn it into a park and river restoration project.
Even with the inflated $3.9 million dollar purchase price, Banbury still retains ownership of the 10 commercially-zoned acres around the clubhouse and its main buildings — a sweetheart deal by any definition. Banbury paid $2.5 million for the entire property in 2007.
So what, if anything, can still be done?
The total cost of the deal is $4.521 million (with the additional funds over the purchase amount used for watershed restoration), and must still be ‘approved’ by the Ohio EPA. But since the Ohio EPA is the agency who pushed for the project and are the funding source for it, that pending approval process appears to be a sham strictly for public show.
The only recourse now is to contact Governor John Kasich and the Ohio EPA to point out the inherent waste of taxpayer dollars in such a transaction, and to write letters to state and federal representatives and local newspapers to put pressure on the proceedings.