The doors were locked and the lights shut off at Club Rio Rancho last week, a few days after the clubhouse’s foreclosure.
According to the deed in lieu of foreclosure, manager of Sweet Success LLC and now-former owner of Club Rio Rancho Jhett Browne turned over the clubhouse and golf course to Southwest Capital Bank in the final days of December. The deed is signed by Browne and dated Dec. 23; the Sandoval County Clerk’s Office filed the document Dec. 28.
The future of the golf course and clubhouse is uncertain; a representative from Southwest Capital Bank declined an opportunity to comment to the Observer.
Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull said the city has yet to receive any official document or letter regarding Club Rio Rancho or the clubhouse’s future.
“We don’t have anything solid there, but then again, it’s a private property matter so unless they go to do something that requires permitting or unless they go to do something that requires some sort of city action, under private property ownership they’re free to proceed however they want to as long as they’re within the parameters of what they’re doing right now,” Hull said.
“I’ve always been pro-golf course, I think the golf course is a community fixture. But it’s private property. If it remains a golf course, great, but if it doesn’t, then that’s something the city will have to take up when that comes before us.” he said.
According to city spokeswoman Annemarie García, the city has filed a property lien against Club Rio Rancho for unpaid water/wastewater services totaling $333,758.75. All together, the club owes the city $357,532.53 in water services and penalties.
Hull said if Southwest Capital Bank sells the property to a company, paying the city’s liens would take priority over the purchase.
“Our liens are superior to the mortgage, so the city will be made whole on its water bills,” Hull said. “We do know the city manager is in negotiations with the bank on how to resolve that past debt.”