Bank takes steps to fore­close on Val­ley View course

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - SCAR­LET SIMS

FAYET­TEVILLE — A bank has asked a judge to fore­close on the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar Val­ley View golf course that has been em­broiled in law­suits and en­vi­ron­men­tal com­plaints for years.

The Bank of Fayet­teville filed a law­suit in Washington County Cir­cuit Court on June 9 to fore­close on 140 acres that make up the Golf Club at Val­ley View.

Val­ley View Golf Course LLC and its agents owe a prin­ci­ple amount of $1.5 mil­lion and in­ter­est is ac­cru­ing, ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint. The prop­erty is be­tween Farm­ing­ton and Prairie Grove.

“The bank can make de­mand [on the loan] at any time,” said Kyle Unser, an at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing the bank.

Unser said in his com­plaint the course’s own­ers paid the monthly in­stall­ment late, are en­tan­gled in law­suits that hurt their abil­ity to re­pay the loan and are delin­quent in fed­eral taxes.

Don Ken­dall, a lo­cal

at­tor­ney for the golf course, said he couldn’t talk about the law­suit.

John Peis­erich, a Lit­tle Rock at­tor­ney for Val­ley View own­ers, filed an ob­jec­tion to the com­plaint last month, say­ing the loan con­tract has not been breached. He said his clients “ve­he­mently deny” the bank has the right to fore­close, the record shows.

Val­ley View also de­nies ow­ing fed­eral taxes. An IRS spokesman said in email fed­eral laws and reg­u­la­tions pre­vent him from talk­ing about a spe­cific tax­payer’s taxes.

The bank is fore­clos­ing on the golf course prop­erty, some city and county ease­ments, at least one sub­di­vi­sion lot and the club­house at 11520 Club House Park­way, court records show. Most of the prop­erty the bank is fore­clos­ing on en­com­passes the golf course, Unser said.

The debt for the prop­erty was re­struc­tured in Fe­bru­ary with a pay­ment to start at the end of March, records show. The pay­ments for March, April and May were late, ac­cord­ing to the law­suit. Peis­erich said in his le­gal ob­jec­tion the bank ac­cepted pay­ments for those months.

The golf course’s club­house, on 18 acres, is worth about $2 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to county prop­erty records. All the prop­erty — roughly 200 acres split be­tween Prairie Grove and Farm­ing­ton — is worth at least $4 mil­lion, Peis­erich said pre­vi­ously.

“The Bank of Fayet­teville seeks to seize cer­tain pieces of real prop­erty and per­sonal prop­erty owned by the de­fen­dants col­lec­tively or in­di­vid­u­ally,” ac­cord­ing to court records.

Those in the suit in­clude: Val­ley View Golf, the Val­ley View home­own­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion, Washington County, Prairie Grove, John and Melissa Lipsmeyer, Joe and Jen­nifer Ste­wart, con­trac­tor Rausch Cole­man, the orig­i­nal de­funct sewer sys­tem op­er­a­tor Washington Wa­ter Au­thor­ity, Deere Credit Ser­vices and Com­mu­ni­ties Un­lim­ited Inc., which took over the sewer sys­tem last year.

Ste­wart is the gen­eral man­ager and agent for Val­ley View Golf LLC. Of­fi­cers for the cor­po­ra­tion in­clude the Lipsmey­ers and Jen­nifer Ste­wart, and the cor­po­ra­tion is listed in good stand­ing with the sec­re­tary of state.

The golf course is sur­rounded by about 500 homes that have an av­er­age ap­praisal of $200,000. The course, its own­ers, the pri­vate sewer sys­tem op­er­a­tor and home­own­ers are at the cen­ter of dis­putes over a faulty com­mu­nity sewer sys­tem, en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions, prop­erty rights and money.

An­other three law­suits against Ste­wart and oth­ers con­nected to Val­ley View are on­go­ing.

An Arkansas Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Qual­ity fine of $38,000 was with­drawn last month.

State of­fi­cials said there is no ev­i­dence of ef­flu­ent in the ir­ri­ga­tion ponds be­ing used to wa­ter the golf course, ac­cord­ing to a with­drawal mo­tion filed by the depart­ment June 19 at the Arkansas Pol­lu­tion Con­trol and Ecol­ogy Com­mis­sion.

File photo/NWA Demo­crat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE

A sign marks the en­trance Aug. 25 to the Val­ley View Es­tates sub­di­vi­sion in Farm­ing­ton.

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