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Laurel View Country Club over indebted, city pays bill

Hamden pays more money to pay golf course, banquet facility bills.

The town is paying another $20,000 for a combined water/WPCA bill for the Laurek View Country Club facility, bringing the total the town has spent of the facility in the last two months to $100,000.

On Monday, the Legislative Council approved a request from Public Works Director Craig Cesare for $20,000 for the club debt as part of a transfer to this department of $437,163 from a number of funds, including the council’s emergency and contingency fund, to go into several other accounts. The rest of the money was for accounts that included overtime, tipping fees, snow removal, overtime and waste removal.

We recently incurred additional expenses (for) the Laurel View Country Club banquet facility which were not originally anticipated,” Cesare wrote in a memo to Mayor Curt Balzano Leng requesting the transfers.

More than half of the $20,000 is for the Water Pollution Control Authority for sewage costs at the facility.

Last month, the council approved paying $80,000 to the Regional Water Authority for the club’s bill for the golf course. That bill was supposed to be the responsibility of MDM Inc., the operator of both the golf course and the banquet facility, but MDM owner Matt Menchetti was not able to pay the bill. The town paid it in order for the water to stay on at the club, but Chief Administrative Office Julie SMith said at the time that the town will pursue payment from Menchetti for the bill.

Whether Menchetti is responsible for the latest bill couldn’t be determined Tuesday. Council president Jim Pascarella said he didn’t believe the bill was Menchetti’s. Not to my knowledge, no,” he said. It may be a leftover bill from when Kramden Industries, an offshoot of Eli’s on Whitney restaurant, ran the banquet facility, he said.

Leng said Tuesday that he is gathering all of the information on the Laurel View bills and is anticipating action being taken soon. Last month, Leng sent Menchetti a notice of default for his inability to pay the bills and rent he is required to pay under the contract he signed with the town last summer when he took over control of the banquet facility.

The notice of default demanded payment of almost $130,000 for past due bills, including the water bill, sewer charges, the electric bill, the propane and gas bills and fees for the security system. Menchetti also has reportedly failed to pay the town its share of proceeds from events held at the club and has not provided the town an account of what events have taken place there.

After Eli’s declined to renew its contract with the town to run the banquet facility, the town negotiated an agreement with Menchetti to take it over in addition to running the golf course. Menchetti at the time owed the town more than $400,000 for the golf course, and that debt was factored in to the new agreement, which was for one year. Menchetti has a separate contract to run the golf course that runs through 2022.