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Bank controls Gold Creek golf course

County awaiting unpaid property tax

POSTED: April 15, 2009 4:00 a.m.
Few details have surfaced in the week since Regions Bank emerged from auction with control of the defunct Gold Creek Golf course.  Members of the Gold Creek Homeowners Association are relieved the bank has the site, while an attorney for the former owners has not ruled out further legal action.  No outside parties submitted bids April 7. James M. Ottley, the attorney who handled the foreclosure for Regions, said he was not authorized to comment on the matter, though he did confirm the bank has possession of the property.  Joe Brakebill, association president, said the community hopes the bank wants to be a good neighbor.   “With spring coming, the property is very much in need of maintenance,” he said.  The golf course closed last summer when prior owners Bob and Jeff Tablak filed for bankruptcy.  The shutdown followed a litany of problems for the golf club, among them: changes in management; litigation with the city of Dawsonville; and residents’ unhappiness over the closing of nine holes to make way for more housing.  “The positive for us on this position is that the prior owners no longer own the property, and the bank is the new owner,” Brakebill said.  He added that the association is seeking golf course developers and consultants interested in returning the course to resort standards.  Consulting firms from California and Colorado have reportedly expressed interest in the project.  “We’re hopeful someone will purchase the property with the intention of bringing the golf course back,” Brakebill said.  Regions Bank, however, will not be able to do anything with the property until it pays more than $171,000 in property taxes to the county.  Prior to the auction, Tax Commissioner Linda Townley said she expected to receive the back taxes quickly.  “We haven’t heard a word from them yet. If we don’t pretty soon, I’ll pursue a seizure for the money,” she said. “I don’t think they want to lose it after going through with the foreclosure proceedings.”  According to the foreclosure notice, the bank was owed more than $5 million for the course.  Joey Homans, an attorney for the Tablaks, is waiting to learn what Regions paid to determine if further litigation is possible over the rezoning request the Dawsonville City Council rejected.  Homans said an appraisal of the property could render worthless the part of the course where nine golf holes were eliminated.  If that’s the case, he said, the bank could pursue damages from Gold Creek or Bob Tablak, who personally signed on the property.  E-mail Michele Hester at michele@dawsonnews.com.

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