Buena Vista to close Vista Links golf course after lengthy legal battle


BUENA VISTA, Va. (WDBJ) – After a series of discussions and legal claims against the city, Buena Vista will take control of the Vista Links golf course and close the property.

According to an announcement from the city, the mayor will reach a settlement agreement with ACA Financial and resolve all issues related to the financing of the property. ACA will waive its claims against the City and the City’s property, and return the golf course.

The course will end on March 1, 2022 and the final versions will arrive at the end of July 2022.

“It has been a long and difficult process, but council has never wavered in its resolve to resolve this issue in the best interest of the citizens of Buena Vista. With the golf course issues behind us, the city can move forward with downtown redevelopment and expanding economic opportunities within the city to build on recent successes and positive momentum.” added City Attorney Brian J. Kearney.

Vista Links, opened in 2005, was originally a City product that pledged the police department and the municipal building as collateral.

When Buena Vista defaulted on a loan to build the golf course, ACA Financial sued. A judge later ruled the city had no legal obligation to repay the $9.2 million in bonds that covered a loan to help fund the Vista Links golf course.

The City argued that the loan was a “moral” obligation, allowing them to pay if they could, but were not required to.

“So there’s a big difference between having to promise your tax base and just saying every year we’ll see if we have enough funds to pay,” Kearney said.

ACA attorney Tim Bass argued that Buena Vista had a lot of money, complaining at one point that the city found money to pay the attorneys in court rather than the debt.

ACA insured the bonds and paid the bondholders.

A federal appeals court later upheld the court’s decision dismissing a lawsuit against the city of Buena Vista.

Previous WDBJ7 reports detailing the conflict

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