Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Former Green Pond President on its Future
My name is Richard R Bilheimer.
I am the son of the late Russel Earl Bilheimer, Jr. former President of Green Pond Country Club and General Supply Lumber Company for more than 25 years. My father held 15% of the shares of Green Pond Country Club, they were divided equally to his three children after his death. I am a graduate of NCACC and East Stroudsburg University, I am currently retired as a Safety Consultant after 30 years.
As a child I have very fond memories of Green Pond Country Club. Cleaning locker rooms, carrying golfer's bags, and playing a few rounds of golf myself. This is where my father taught me how to play golf. What a beautiful course!
My father's vision was to enhance the golf course, bring in tournaments, build the business of the restaurant and banquet facilities. Most of all, he wished for the adjacent land to be used for a planned community of beautiful high end homes that aesthetically included the preservation of the wetlands and nature areas of the golf course property. His foresight told him that the New York and New Jersey citizens would soon be moving into the area with the improvements of the highway infrastructure. What he did NOT want to see were strip malls, hotels, small manufacturing on the land.
Back in the late 60's and 70's, he had an independent real estate appraisal done of the entire property and plans for the development, which looks nothing like the plan of today. Nor does the value. The appraisal back in the 60's and 70's was $20 million! Now these developers, the Toll brothers, Traditions of America and a group of insiders (the boys club names NOT to be mentioned) are considering proposals of $7 million!
I am a proud shareholder of both Green Pond Country Club and General Supply Company (113 years old). Unfortunately my 5% along with my brother's 5% and my sister's 5% is not enough to make a difference to continue to make Green Pond a beautiful landmark and preserve of the Lehigh Valley as my father wished. It is NOW in the voting hands of people looking to make backroom deals and selling for pennies on the dollar. Although I do not live in the Lehigh Valley, I have ties to the Lehigh Valley through nieces, nephews and friends. Many of them golf at Green Pond Country Club.
When visiting the Lehigh Valley I always make it a point to visit Green Pond Country Club and General Supply Lumber company. As far as John Simon owning a $400,000 home, I know him personally. My father would be very proud of him as the person who filled his seat. He is honest, hard-working and dedicated to the company, his employees and the community. Bottom line, times have changed. Keeping nature in mind, development is inevitable and if the price is right and the deals become transparent I would be in favor of diluting my shares, although it was my wish to hand my shares done to my own son. It has been over 30 years since I have lived in the Lehigh Valley, but I STILL call it HOME.
I Love those Yocco Hotdogs.