Scotch Plains Council Introduces a Bond Ordinance to Save Scotch Hills Country Club

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – The Scotch Plains Council introduced a capital ordinance at Tuesday night’s council business meeting to reappropriate the sum of $138,163 for the “undertaking of professional studies of and various repairs and improvement to, the Scotch Hills Golf Course Clubhouse”.

The Scotch Hills Country Club, formerly known as the Shady Rest Country Club, opened in 1879. It is known for being the first documented country club to be owned by African Americans from 1921-1963, when it was renamed the Scotch Hills Country Club and became a public facility.

“We discussed this at the last meeting, to go back into the bond ordinance and look at reappropriating the balance of the money,” said Town Manager Jerry Giaimis.  The money would be used for urgent repairs, a preservation study and to apply for grants.

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Councilman Lou Beckerman wanted reassurance that this was not taking the money away from some other project, and Giaimis assured him that it was not.  Councilwoman Colleen Gialanella wanted reassurances that immediate needs such as a general clean up would be done as soon as possible.

While the concept was voted on unanimously, this was only to approve the introduction of the concept, as further discussion and a final vote will be scheduled for the main Council Meeting later in September.

Councilman Bo Vastine commented that it would be good to have a “linear graph” of what needed to be done in what order to not only stop further deterioration, but to also take steps toward getting the building on the Historic Register, while at the same time ensuring that costs did not escalate. 

Giaimis assured him that this was what was intended, with work to be completed first on areas currently being damaged by weather.


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