Both the Sinnissippi Golf Course in Rockford, Ill. and Cossett Creek Golf Course in Brunswick Hills Township, Ohio are up for possible redevelopment. While citizens seem to have an emotional attachment to the Illinois course, residents in Ohio fear a new subdivision would create more traffic issues, potential problems with over-crowding at area schools, water supply concerns and worries about storm water run-off.
Concerned citizens in Rockford, Ill. and Brunswick Hills Township, Ohio are weighing in on the future of golf courses in their communities. The Rockford Park District invited the community to weigh in on the potential closure of Sinnissippi Golf Course, WREX reported. People packed into the meeting space and for roughly three hours, the golf course took center stage as resident after resident made emotional pleas to save the course.
Executive Director Jay Sandine started off the public comment section by giving the audience a breakdown of how the district receives funding, the hurdles it faces moving forward, along with a breakdown of revenue and deficits at each of the park district golf courses, WREX reported.
According to RPD data, in 2019 each of the RPD golf courses are expected to end the year in the red, WREX reported. Sinnissippi is projected to be at $119,111, Elliot at $87,721, Sandy Hollow at $24,700, Ingersoll at $98,607, and Aldeen at $242,058. While Aldeen is set to lose the most, Sandine says it made a roughly $110,000 improvement compared to last year due to special events at the Rockford Bank & Trust Pavilion.
Ultimately, Sandine says overall play at Sinnissippi is down with 11,121 rounds played so far in 2019, the least out of all five courses in 2019, WREX reported. Last year the district discussed repurposing, leasing, or selling Elliot Golf Course. However, Sandine says now Elliot is performing better and is a strong course for the district’s youth program.
“We have to reduce our footprint … we do not want to close Sinnissippi Golf Course,” says Sandine. “We know the history and attachment to that golf course. We know it was our first and it’s important. But the facts are less people are playing there now. It’s easier in our minds to modify that land into something that we think would be more of a community benefit.”
Some of those proposed modifications include a sledding hill, dog park, disc golf course and walking path, WREX reported.
Seventeen people signed up to speak following Sandine’s remarks, many of them making emotional pleas and voicing their opposition to the park district’s idea to shut down Sinnissippi, WREX reported. Multiple people proposed ideas for private and corporate sponsoring of Sinnissippi or major fundraising days to keep the course afloat.
“This group is generating many excellent ideas and concepts of ways to improve revenue at Sinnissippi Golf Course,” says Jim McDowell. “Time. We can do this if given a little bit of time.”
In addition to the closure of Sinnissippi, other budget recommendations include suspension of the snow park at Alpine Hills along with Alpine Pool, WREX reported. The park district board is expected to make a final decision on proposed cuts at the November 19 meeting.
In Ohio, some Brunswick Hills township homeowners raised their concerns about a proposal to turn Cossett Creek Golf Course into a subdivision that includes a condo complex and more than 500 new homes, News 5 Cleveland reported. Residents told township trustees the project would create more traffic issues, potential problems with over-crowding at Brunswick Schools, water supply concerns and worries about storm water run-off.
Brunswick Hills resident, Don Elwood told News 5 he’s hoping township leaders will say no to the rezoning for the golf course.
“There’s not enough water for the whole township, it’s just not going to work,” Elwood said.
“And everybody is complaining about the traffic.
“With all the new homes and side streets, these people are going to be trapped,” he added. “If there’s a fire, they’re not going to be able to get out of here.”
Terry Properties told News 5 all traffic concerns will be analyzed and addressed and said the project will provide an increased tax base, greater variety of homes and set-up a neighborhood trail system.
Cossett Creek golf course management told News 5 no formal offer has been given to the property owners and said it will keep the golf course in Brunswick Hills as long as residents support its operation.
The township zoning board is expected to decide on re-zoning the golf course during a November 7 meeting, News 5 reported.
Residents like Stephanie Roksandich hope township leaders will choose in their favor.
“Listen to your residents, we don’t want this,” Roksandich said. “We had an over-flow meeting that expressed their dislike for this plan.”