Local leaders discuss possible closure of Buffalo Valley Golf Course


A consultant hired by Johnson City recommended Monday that Buffalo Valley Golf Course should close.

Johnson City operates both Pine Oaks and Buffalo Valley and have spent millions in the last decade to keep the courses open. Johnson Ciy purchased Buffalo Valley in 1994, even though the course is located in Unicoi County.

Johnson City Mayor David Tomita told News 5 that the city pays about $600,000 per year to keep Buffalo Valley open, but the consultant found that half the rounds played last year were by non-Johnson City residents.

The city commission will hold a final vote Thursday and is expected to close the course by the end of this year.

Town of Unicoi Mayor Johnny Lynch believes the closure will hurt his small community.

"Speaking for our board and our town, we are very concerned about this situation," Lynch said. "If there's any way we can help, we would be glad to."

Tomita added that once the decision to close the course is made, the city will offer the property for a request for proposal, or in other words, make an offer.

The city is not desperate to sell the property as tax and upkeep are only a few thousand dollars per year, Tomita said.