The club’s annexation negotiations with the village of Glen Ellyn, Ill., have been ongoing since 2004. Club officials recently requested that instead of being charged 150 percent of the resident water rate as required for properties outside of village limits, that it be charged no more than 105 percent, which would save the facility more than $25,000 a year.
Glen Oak Country Club is requesting a special water rate that would be significantly lower than what is normally charged for property outside of Glen Ellyn, Ill., village limits, the Chicago Tribune reported.
“From a staff standpoint, we do have a few concerns about creating a special rate for a single entity,” said Staci Hulseberg, director of planning and development. “Once we start considering individual rates for users, it really does open the door for others to request that rate.”
The club has agreed to pay to extend the utility lines and annex part of its property, but not all, although agreeing to pay the full taxes if the entire property were annexed, the Tribune reported.
The cost of extending the lines would likely run around $170,000, said Randy Bus, who is on the planning committee for Glen Oak. “Glen Oak believes that, because the village is realizing a lot of the improvements and benefits as if the entire club were annexed, that some consideration should be given closer to resident rates,” Bus told trustees.
The club and village have been discussing the matter since 2004, when club officials expressed interest in connecting to the village’s water system to improve their water quality, fire sprinkler volume, and water pressure on the property. Club officials, however, have never been interested in annexing the entire property, which is usually required in order for the village to extend utility lines, the Tribune reported.
In the most recent discussion, Glen Oak officials requested that, instead of being charged 150 percent of the resident rate as required by village code for properties outside of Glen Ellyn limits, the club be charged no more than 105 percent. That move would save Glen Oak more than $25,000 a year. Under a non-resident rate, Glen Ellyn would see about $173,600 in new tax and utilities revenue from the club for 2015. Under a resident rate, that would drop to about $145,400, the Tribune reported.
Village staff members at the January 13 meeting were opposed to a special water rate, the Tribune reported.
“The reason most people annex, the incentives for annexation, is getting village utilities and getting in-village rates, so if we were to grant this, it really does eliminate all incentive for future annexation,” Hulseberg said.
Bus pointed out that the agreement would bring in revenue to the village and also help get the water system closer to the Prairie Path and an industrial park. Most trustees were in favor of finding some compromise with Glen Oak, although they disagreed on how, the Tribune reported.
Trustee Diane McGinley was in favor of leaving the non-resident water rate, in order to avoid precedent. However, she suggested a rebate on the club’s taxes up to the difference in the two water rates, the Tribune reported.
Trustees Timothy O’Shea and Pete Ladesic were supportive of the idea. The rebate would be “giving them, in essence, what they’re looking for in dollar terms but in different ways,” O’Shea said. He likened a new water rate to “opening up Pandora’s box,” the Tribune reported.
Others, like Trustees Dean Clark and Tim Elliott, had fewer concerns about setting precedent, the Tribune reported.
“I think there’s a lot of benefit to the village from the proposed annexation. There’s an opportunity to extend. I think now is the time to get this done,” Elliott said. “You have to look at whether this is a unique situation or a recurring situation. I doubt we’ll face this precise issue again.”
However, he added that he favored a higher rate than the requested 105 percent, the Tribune reported.
No decision was made, and the topic will be back on the village’s agenda at a future meeting, the Tribune reported.