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Village Vision News

Village’s support of Forsyth Classic ends in 2019

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Mayor casts deciding vote

The future of the longest running tournament on the LPGA Symetra Tour, known as the Forsyth Classic since May when the Village committed to a sponsorship of $90,000 for the 2018 tournament and $100,000 for next year’s 35th anniversary, was hanging in the balance.

Tournament Director Cindy Deadrick Wolfer spoke at the November 5 Board of Trustees meeting to ask an important question.

“The (Symetra) Tour is growing and has opportunities elsewhere,” she said. “With our history, the Tour continues to work with us on year-to-year basis but would like a commitment.”

From the Village, she was asking for $135,000 of Hotel/Motel tax revenue to continue as the event’s title sponsor in 2020. Those opposed cited a lack of quantifiable economic impact from the tournament and major proposed future projects — namely, a community center and sports complex — that will require funding starting in 2020.

Trustees in favor of continuing support of the golf tournament pointed out that the projected ending balance of the Hotel/Motel tax fund for this fiscal year will be $888,000.

“I see it as we have the capability to do both,” Trustee David Wendt said.

Trustees cast their votes and were deadlocked with three votes in favor and three opposed. The deciding vote came down to Mayor Marilyn Johnson, who paused briefly before saying: “No.” With that, the measure failed.

Other No votes came from Trustees Bob Gruenewald, Jeremy Shaw and Kerstin Trachtenberg; while Yea votes came from Trustees Kerry Denison, Jim Peck and Wendt.

“As a trustee, I have to do what’s best for the community with the Hotel/Motel tax,” Gruenewald said.

The 54-hole tournament annually brings a field of 144 players from the United States and around the world to compete at Hickory Point Golf Course. In addition to players, families, caddies, tournament officials, volunteers and fans come and stay with host families and in hotels. Bringing people to town was why the Village had been a financial supporter of the event for so many years.

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