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Community college lone bidder for bankrupt country club

COLUMBUS — East Mississippi Community College is the sole bidder for the bankrupt Columbus Country Club.

Deadline for bids was Sept. 14. The auction is scheduled for Oct. 5.

Jason Browne, a spokesman for EMCC, tells the Commercial Dispatch the school’s administrators are not ready to comment on the bid.

EMCC board members discussed purchasing the club and its golf course in April 2011. After a 6-5-1 vote to pursue purchasing the club, board members then voted unanimously not to continue with the purchase.

In June, court documents showed the school had submitted an undisclosed offer to purchase the club, which owes money to three primary secured creditors: $1.5 million to five banks, $190,672 to Cadence Bank and $300,000 to Columbus businessman David Shelton. The three lenders hold the first, second and third mortgages on the club’s real estate, respectively.

EMCC President Dr. Rick Young confirmed the school’s renewed interest in the property during a July meeting of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors.

Young said the club had 20,000-square-foot facility ready to go for the school’s hotel and restaurant management program and for community and civic uses. He said the golf team could benefit from the facility.

The Columbus Country Club, which has operated at its present location since 1923, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 3, 2011. The club’s board of trustees filed a motion Aug. 15 requesting the property be sold at an auction.

The proceedings are being handled through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Aberdeen.

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