The nine-hole golf course in Libertyville, Ill., has not been used or maintained since mid-2014, and estimates to update and reopen the layout total $475,000. Officials are considering other uses for the land, though building anything would be unlikely due to its location in a Des Plaines River flood plain.
Some officials are dismissing the idea of a restored golf course in Riverside Park in Libertyville, Ill., after a new estimate says work on the nine-hole course could cost up to $475,000, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Libertyville signed a 10-year lease with a private company in 2013, but public documents show the village has since reclaimed rights to the course after rent had not been paid since September 2014, the Tribune reported.
The course has not been used or maintained since mid-2014, officials have said. Libertyville’s Parks and Recreation Committee in July asked for estimates associated with making the course functional again. Connie Kowal, director of parks and recreation, gave an update during the committee’s August 2 meeting and said resurfacing the tees and greens and repairing bunkers could cost between $280,000 and $300,000, the Tribune reported.
Those “rough numbers” came from the golf company that built Libertyville’s driving range at the sports complex, according to Kowal. He said the request was clearly identified as an investigative tool and that any actual work would be publicly bid, the Tribune reported.
“The second thing we looked at was the irrigation system,” Kowal said. “We turned that baby off when we thought they were going to install AstroTurf. Time was already going against it. The pump house was antiquated back then.”
Village reports say the golf course is in a Des Plaines River flood plain, which has caused much of its struggles over the years. The evicted tenant was previously planning to install costly artificial turf to prevent diseased grass and improve the recovery time after floods. Kowal said replacing the pump station would cost about $175,000, the Tribune reported.
“So half a million should do it,” said Village Trustee Rich Moras, a member of the parks committee. “I think based on all our previous discussions, I don’t see a tremendous impetus to refine these numbers.
“Personally, as only one guy with a vote, yeah it’s unlikely that I’d support spending that kind of money,” Moras said. “Not everything is meant to make money or break even for that matter, but this golf course never met expectations. I think it would be a different story if we were greatly subsidizing something that a lot of people used.”
After hitting a high of 13,298 played golf rounds in 2003, the course counted 5,272 rounds in 2012, according to a parks report from that time. Prices were $10 for Libertyville residents and $13 for non-residents, the Tribune reported.
Mayor Terry Weppler, who is a non-voting member of the committee, also expressed doubt in the golf course’s comeback. Weppler said he’s not thrilled about spending so much money on a program that loses $80,000 per year and has a declining patronage, the Tribune reported.
Moras said if the committee agrees with his assessment they will then review options for the land and investigate future recreational ideas. He said building anything on the property would be highly unlikely due to the flooding issues, the Tribune reported.