BECKLEY, W.Va. — The City of Beckley is in the process of securing an appraisal to purchase Black Knight Country Club, according to Mayor Rob Rappold.
The December 28 announcement of the closure has left many wondering what could happen to the historic property near downtown Beckley. Rappold told MetroNews affiliate WJLS the city recognizes the loss and has been coming up with ideas to help.
“We’ve talked about things like combining some packages with our Exhibition (Coal) Mine and the youth museum to include golf and swimming. We’d like to make it a true destination for those outside the city but we want affordable rates for everybody who would like to enjoy the facility in the city.”
The nearly 90 year-old property was purchased by now-Governor Jim Justice in June of 2016. It includes a nine hole golf course, swimming pool and roughly 60 acres of land. Rappold is confident the the city’s public works department can handle the additional parcel.
“Our public works department has done a great job over the years of maintaining the New River Park pool. The fact that we have talented people on board who are familiar with carpentry, swimming pools in our public works department I feel like we have all that going for us.”
In order to proceed, the city must conduct an inventory of all equipment on site by serial number including golf course tools and vehicles, mowers and irrigation systems. If the irrigation system needs major upgrades or other large costs are found, Rappold said it could be a deal-breaker.
“We have an obligation obviously to the city residents and taxpayers that we represent to be very responsible circumspect with city funds. So we’re sure not going to embark on anything that doesn’t make good financial sense. The numbers have to be right.”
An update on the inventory and appraisal process is expected at the Beckley City Council’s next meeting.