Wealthy Welfare Part 2
“Oxbow Country Club Debt”
The North Dakota Secretary of State lists the Oxbow Country Club registered as a NONPROFIT CORPORATION. (view listing)
In documents obtained via Oxbow attorneys Turman and Lang, Oxbow Mayor Jim Nyhof indicates the Oxbow Country Club as being $600,000 in debt.
To be completely fair, one must also consider the entire Oxbow Country Club valuation to ascertain if the club were truly $600k in debt.
According to Cass County, the last (2014) Oxbow Country Club valuation was $1,085,200. Which included all 18 holes, driving range, clubhouse, swimming pool and parking lot. (view combined property tax report)
If a person considers the Cass County valuation even marginally accurate:
|Cass County 2014 Valuation||1,085,200.00||Oxbow Country Club (alleged) Debt||– 600,000.00||Net Remaining Valuation||485,200.00|
So…, if Cass County indicates an assessed valuation of $1,085,200.00 for the entire Oxbow Country Club (OCC), why would the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion Authority (FMDA) via the Cass County Joint Water Resource District (CCJWRD) provide a payment of $10,499,448.34 courtesy of state, county and city taxpayers? BTW, the $10.49 million dollar payment does not include additional millions in course improvements and was not listed where other property acquisitions and payments are reflected in the FDMA books. It appears as thought the FMDA has tried to make it difficult for the taxpaying public to keep tabs on the nearly $75 million already spent thus far on the purported $65 million Oxbow project. Whoops!
Think about that for a moment… The Oxbow Country Club (OCC) was valued 1.085 million by the governing taxing authority, OCC gets to retain 10 original course holes and on January 1, 2015 received 10.49 million for the clubhouse, 8 replacment holes, pool and parking lot. Wowza!! 967.5% more than the assessed value -or- 2163.9% more than the net remaining value when considering outstanding debt.
How is it possible for such a profound inequity to exist? How did the Oxbow Country Club pay 967.5% less in annual property taxes and still expect the state, county and city taxpayers to cough up big bucks to bail out a NONPROFIT CORPORATION, which Oxbow Mayor Jim Nyhof further suggests is held by stockholder members of the Oxbow Country Club.
This email from Jim Nyhof tells part of the story:
|From: Jim Nyhof
Sent: wednesday, November 09, 2011 1:07 AM
To: city of oxbow; REDACTED COUNCIL MEMBER EMAILS
Cc: REDACTED EMAIL
Subject: RE: stock allocation
I have told myself over and over I am not going to email after 11:00 but the Crown Royal wins again and I can’t sleep. I am a number guys and like to crunch numbers so here goes.
The golf course has a Robert Trent Jones appraisal of a low number of $12 million and high number of $24 million. Replacement value was even higher which we presented to the mitigation committee earlier. If we use the low appraised number of $12 million and cut that in half to $6 million for discussion purposes. Even Mickey Mouse should be able to negotiate that, again that does not mean the buyer has $6 million to pay us but that is not our problem and the state will support that. Currently their are approximately 150 voting shareholders of oxbow cc. If we use the number of 50% of the residents of oxbow are none voting shareholders (total of non members or social only) which I think is high so therefore conservative. A city resolution to require/assess all residents $3000 annually for their initial stock purchase then ongoing annual dues, it could generate another 50 members, conservatively assuming 100 taxpaying lots. At that point voting stock membership is frozen. Oxbow CC should operate without a lose based on past history even with floods based on this additional revenue. prospective members can joint as full or social but they are not entitled to any buyout considerations given to voting shareholders which adds additional revenue to the profitability of the club and ultimate return to the voting shareholder investor. Again conservatively we now have 200 voting shareholders with the addition of 50 new oxbow residents entitled to a share of the mitigation. If we get the $6 million, half of the low appraisal, less club liabilities of $600,000, the 200 shareholders split $5.4 million or $27,000 each. I would think people would stick around for that. If residents left and took an early buyout, given the tie of stock to each lot, the result is even more for the shareholder/residents that stuck around, and isn’t that what we want for our community and school district. If we get the low appraisal of $12 million that’s over $50,000 for each shareholder.
The annual assessment to members of oxbow cc has not exceeded $150,000 in past years which is covered by the $3000 annual property assessment for the 50 new shareholder/full memberships so the club really should operate at a profitable level or breakeven with the additional membership and given expense of potential ongoing annual floods. Add some additional non oxbow members because of the impact of this action and the stock freeze, results in even more revenue that should be generated. Add some mitigation obligations for the project sponsor to the maintenance and operations of the city throughout the buyout period and our concerns of a rental community should diminish.
I really think this is a “win win” opportunity/situation for residents regardless of the outcome of the diversion. I do think it is a unique opportunity for us to consider as we try to position our self for the best potential outcome expecting the worst case and ultimate fate of our community. Best case we all win!!! I encourage concerns as to why this would not be something to consider so we can get all the potential concerns addressed.
If you have not figured it out I absolutely love this community and want to stick around to the bitter end. sorry. Going to bed, might sleep now:)
Aside from the appearance of Oxbow Mayor Jim Nyhof attempting to conduct city business with a council quorum via email outside of scheduled meetings, why on earth should state, county and city taxpayers be burdened with a contrived enrichment to Oxbow County Club members far greater than their original investment?
Is “contrived enrichment” too strong for Oxbow’s elite pushing the agenda?
Read this excerpt from the December 8, 2011 Oxbow Council Minutes:
(view Oxbow Meeting Minutes Nov-Dec 2011)
|Memberships at the Oxbow Country Club was discussed.|
|•||The current membership categories bring in $650,000. Would like to see the categories cleaned up.|
|•|| Discussed the memberships of the club and the idea of getting the $309,000 from the county project sponsor. In the event of a buyout, would like to give everyone who is not a stock holder the ability to buy in to participate. The dollars would be used by the Country Club to pay down debt with letter of credit if the money is called. This would create incentive to help home sales – stock partial tied to their lot – resident get their money back. No obligation by the city for this money – the club would be liable.
Buy in to participate? Shouldn’t existing stockholders just divvy up the remaining value after repayment of debt rather than fabricate a new liability for taxpayers?
|From: Jim Nyhof
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 9:03 AM
To: city of oxbow; REDACTED COUNCIL MEMBER EMAILS
Cc: REDACTED EMAIL
Subject: RE: CH2MHill
Do you guys have any thoughts on the meeting yesterday?
My thoughts: The actions of the city need to continue to work towards positioning ourselves for a buy out with some type of strategy to get mitigation to happen as soon as possible. The more we learn about the process, the longer the “limbo” seems to potentially drag out. We cannot argue retention because it is not a part of the project, and unless we identify the land that can be used, as it was suggested again yesterday, it’s pointless. We cannot argue moving the inlet further to the north because all the same financial obligation to study this option is the same as asking the inlet to be moved further south, and that is all local funds which don’t exist, so again it pointless. Mr. Waters said he is committed to getting an answer as soon as possible, which is not consistent with doing the studies needed to consider a different alignment. By the time he is up to speed on all the project issues and concerns to much time will have past again to do us any good. sorry, between the issues with the golf course and the City it feels like it is time to abandon ship.
After the 1st of December, we need to plan a trip to Bismarck to meet with the Governor. The only thing we seem to know for sure it that the risk of the project sponsor running short of funds to complete the obligation is a risk we bear not the project. In our request to Bismarck we need to ask for state funding to be used for the mltigation of all ND land owners that will have a taking. The levees and structures need to protect Fargo should be paid for by Fargo. State funds should be used to protect the residents that are giving something up for this to happen. The pointless arguments we continue to try to make any progress with here should not be the focus of our trip to Bismarck, it needs to be gettlng paid for what we are giving up for Fargo, the economic engine.
We need a city meeting soon to keep residents up to date on the impacts of the project as we continue to learn more. Mid December seems to make sense. Not sure where the golf course will be in the process they are undertaking to continue to survive or what obligation the city is willing to commit to as part of the process but that could be another agenda item for the meeting.
Lastly, I have been asked to run for an open Cass county Commission seat in the spring. My first response was are you freaking crazy. We do need a voice to be heard at the county level so someone from our area needs to consider that position. If I did it, I could not hold both positions.
James E. Nyhof
So the idea is to position Oxbow for a “buyout with some type of strategy to get mitigation to happen as soon as possible” (without Hickson, Bakke, MNDak or any other group) with an agenda cooked up by Oxbow Country Club’s “elite”…
From: Jim Nyhof [mailto:Jim@dawsonins.com];
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:22 PM
To: REDACTED OXBOW COUNCIL EMAILS
Subject: meeting follow up
I talked with Keith Ernst this morning about the structure at the entrance and he will get me an answer.Met with WDAY about our newest structure on the golf course. Hopefully it’s a positive story!!!
Met with Don Larson, chief of staff with Hoeven’s office in Washington. The project sponsor made a commitment to agree to mitigation at the Washington hearing and if there is any resistant he should be the first one we contact. He does not feel it is in our best interest to enter mitigation as a group with Hickson, Bakke, MnDak or any other group. Dealing with the concerns of our residents should be our focus.
Too long of a meeting again last night but we got a lot done!!!
Have a great day!!!
As I mentioned in the last council meeting a group of resident/members was formed to address concerns surrounding golf course membership. The group consisted of Paul Benson (corporate Stock Member), Paul Nelson (Lifetime) , Mike Adams (Regular), Chris Holland (Incoming club president) and myself. I also met with Bill Kusaz (social Member) about the ideas and concerns. Attached is the ideas the group come up with that were presented to the board. Paul Nelson and I met yesterday with the board and brought up the concerns and recommendations. The meeting went well and everyone was in agreement with the ideas that were shared. meeting to talk Maybe we should have a special council about the issues that were brought up and how the city wants to react or address the points. Also, it may be a good time to put our thoughts together on moving forward with diversion issues as Dan continues to address the MN Dak group.
Does next Tuesday or Thursday work for everyone?
James E. Nyhof
Let me see if I understand what you sent out. The idea is to assess all properties in oxbow for stock at $3,000 each. Is this money that each home owner is to pony up themselves or are you still talking about the dam diversion project or county coming up with it? Next, do I read this right that there is an expectation that each property would carry a membership of some sort on an annual basis, that this would be mandatory?
Actually I was thinking that if we do this all parcels with a structure should be a lifetime members at $5,000.
Are you able to meet Monday at 7:00?
James E. Nyhof
Good. The money is coming from the county, out of the sales tax fund for the diversion as a down payment to the course for the future buyout. If you choose not to be a member of the club the stock certificate tied to your lot is worthless.
James E. Nyhof
So…, was the idea to finagle a taxpayer subsidized financial bailout for the private (stockholder) country club while simultaneously generating new members by getting state, county and city taxpayers to directly or indirectly purchase Oxbow Country Club stock certificates, then coerce the “members” to maintain an annual membership with a quasi-promise of a big pay-day if the Oxbow Country Club became a future buy-out, with the balance of forethought of sticking the taxpayer with the bill for equity enrichment of Oxbow Country Club stockholders?
Why would any Fargo or Cass county taxpayer ever consider extending a multi-generational sales tax to provide welfare to the wealthy?
Why should Oxbow be considered a city when it appears they cannot even meet a minimum level of self sufficiency and the lines between the alleged city and Oxbow Country Club are conveniently blurred?
Coming up next: Wealthy Welfare Part 3 – The Buy-Out List