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Oxford negotiates Cider Ridge lease with former operator

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OXFORD — The city will negotiate a lease for Cider Ridge Golf Course with one of the course’s former managers. 

Cory Etter, who operated the club in the mid-2000s before the responsibility was turned over to Honours Golf, may once again take control of the municipal course. According to Mayor Alton Craft, Etter was one of only two managers to come close to turning a profit at the club, which has long been a losing investment for the city. 

The City Council made the decision to work with Etter after an executive session at the end of its Tuesday night meeting, the approval marked by a 3-2 vote that is rare for the council, which generally reaches a unanimous consensus. Council members Chris Spurlin, Phil Gardner and Mike Henderson voted in favor of leasing to Etter, while Charlotte Hubbard and Steven Waits voted against. 

Etter also operates Pine Hill Country Club, on Choccolocco Road. He said during a previous council meeting that dual membership offers would be likely if he were given control of Cider Ridge, and appeared to announce Tuesday night via Pine Hill’s social media that those memberships would soon be available. 

Also at Cider Ridge, the city approved a lease with Terry Warren to operate Grill Over the Green, an upscale restaurant serving steak, fish and other entrees. The lease lasts through Jan. 1, with the option to renew for another four years. 

During its meeting, the City Council also:

— Amended city code to designate the intersection of Spring Branch and Tower roads as a three-way stop. Failing to stop at the signs, which face east and west on Spring Branch and south on Tower, could come with a fine of $500 or a six-month stay in the city jail, according to the ordinance. 

— Condemned a structure at 3263 Airport Road. 

— Declared less than 1 acre of land owned by the city on Hale Street surplus and authorized its sale to James Justice for $2,500.

— Authorized the mayor to sign an easement with Alabama Power at Choccolocco Park. 

— Leased the gravel parking lot at 600 Main St., across from Dorsey’s Market, from Hartwell Masonic Lodge 101 for city use. The lot will serve as additional downtown area parking when Lodge events are not underway, and the city will pave the lot and paint spaces, according to the agreement, and provide insurance.

— Entered into an agreement with Trane for work on the city Public Library’s HVAC and building automation equipment. The annual cost is expected to average around $12,400.

— Amended a resolution passed in the last council meeting that allowed the mayor to buy land along Leon Smith Parkway for up to $50,000; the amount was increased to $75,000 to meet the owner’s price. 

— Reappointed Jack Mize to the Public Building Authority for a six-year term expiring Feb. 9, 2027.