BALTIMORE -- Area youth will have the opportunity to learn to play golf as well as learn life skills thanks to a new public and private partnership involving Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore Inc. and the City of Baltimore.
The Baltimore Municipal Golf Corp.'s Forest Park Golf Course broke ground on Feb. 25 for a new clubhouse. It was in desperate need of expansion to accommodate not only golfers but the First Tee program for young people who live on the west side of Baltimore.
BMGC received grants from both the state and the city totaling $1.1 million, but the project costs were $2.5 million. One issue that BMGC ran into when first seeking a loan for the construction was that the golf course and clubhouse--collateral that normally would be put up to guarantee a loan--are owned by the city.
To complete the transaction, Edward Gallagher, director of Baltimore's Department of Finance, brought the $830 million MECU's new business services department and BMGC together to underwrite a $1.5 million construction permanent loan. Gallagher worked with the Baltimore City Board of Estimates to determine if the city would be able to guarantee the loan. Once the Board of Estimates approved the guarantee, MECU stepped in for the final round of financing.
"Now that MECU offers small business loans, it only made sense," said Frank Ciesla, vice president of business services for MECU. "We are committed to serving the
smaller businesses in our community with very affordable products and services."