City of Rio Rancho spokesman Peter Wells said Michael Schumacher of BIZDOC Inc. has informed the city that he would not pursue purchase of the club or his proposal for reduced recycled water rates.
Schumacher, a Rio Rancho resident, had an agreement with Chamisa Hills owner Harry Apodaca to buy the club after a due-diligence period if that period turned up no insurmountable problems. He had said he knew the club’s condition was dire but believed he could restore it.
Schumacher also brought a proposal for decreasing recycled water rates — set to dramatically increase at the country club next year — before the city Utilities Commission at its August meeting. Utilities commissioners referred the matter to their standing committees, and it was scheduled to come before them again at their meeting Tuesday to make a recommendation to the governing body.
Schumacher was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
In a letter to City Manager Keith Riesberg, which Wells provided, Schumacher wrote that the course’s renewal would be difficult and so the sale needed to have a specific structure.
“Unfortunately as we have learned through our due diligence, the renewal also faces a difficult seller and is challenged by a less-than-receptive governing body,” Schumacher said.
He also said that when he started to fund some of the purchase price last week, his company found amended contract terms “unpalatable” and decided to put the purchase on hold, allowing the seller to explore alternatives. He indicated that it’s not unusual for transaction terms to be changed during the process.
“What this means for BIZDOC for now is we withdraw our rate request and will sit on the sidelines on this one, at least for now … We never say never,” Schumacher wrote.
Apodaca, who also could not be reached immediately Wednesday, told the Albuquerque Journal last week that he was still negotiating with Schumacher but indicated that Schumacher had missed several deadlines for paying earnest money. He also said other local and out-of-state groups had expressed interest in the golf course.
City Councilor Mark Scott, whose district includes the golf course, said he knew Schumacher had pulled out but didn’t have details.
“I am very disappointed because I’ve been working behind the scenes to find an acceptable solution,” he said. “I thought we were very close to that.”
He had been working with top city staff.
Scott said he was surprised when Schumacher suddenly canceled a meeting with him and Riesberg last week without explanation.
Also, Scott said he wanted to get the golf course taken care of because it was deteriorating rapidly. He would like the property to remain a golf course because he believes it’s good for the community.
Going forward, the city is limited in what it can do in regard to Chamisa Hills because the business and its sale are private.
“We can’t go out and make an offer,” Scott said. “We can only respond to requests.”