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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Repairing and restoring their second home
Five Towns' country clubs refurbish grounds after storm
Jeffrey Bessen/Herald
Lawrence village officials are discussing short-term and possible long-term plans for the club’s park house building, which is now boarded up after Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy left very little undamaged in its wake more than six weeks ago and that includes the country clubs in the Five Towns area.

However, in the past few weeks clean up and repair has begun at the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club, the Inwood Country Club and The Woodmere Club.

The village owned and operated Lawrence club sustained serious damage to its park house building that necessitated an $80,000 rip out of the structure’s walls, flooring and appliances in its catering area and the Mezza Note restaurant. The tennis building was also severely damaged. The golf club’s fleet of 80 golf carts were submerged in water, according to club general manager Leo McMahon, and the course survived the storm, but various equipment will need to be replaced and docks and ramps at the marina need to be replaced.

“We visualize we will be ready to go by April 1,” said McMahon, adding that he anticipates membership to increase. To help maintain golf membership, trailers will be used as temporary locker rooms.

A strong campaign within the past year and half has helped the Lawrence club increase its membership after a few years when membership began declining due to the failing economy and competition from other clubs. Improving its golf course, marina and tennis facilities has proven a boon to the club.

Lawrence Mayor Martin Oliner is looking to get the club up and running as soon as possible. “Short-term our plans are to repair it and put it back in place,” Oliner said. “I don’t think the club can sustain a period of shutdown. We want to maintain the essence of the club.”

To help mitigate future damage, the village will look into using different materials, raising fixtures and electrical receptacles, the mayor said.

Oliner believes that the club is an attractive enhancement to the village. “It’s extraordinary,” he said, “if you think of it as a park it is one of the most beautiful parks you can have. We want to keep it beautiful. It’s one of the fundamental amenities of our

community.”

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