A full crowd at a Village of Lakewood, Ill., meeting convinced the Board to vote down a proposal to sell the golf club, claiming it could hurt their property values. The Board planned to list the property for $1.9 million, far less than the $3.5 million plus interest that the village paid when it bought the property more than 20 years ago.
The Village of Lakewood, Ill., has backtracked on a plan to sell RedTail Golf Club after residents protested, claiming it was a poor time to consider that option in a down economy and that it could hurt their property values, the Crystal Lake (Ill.) Northwest Herald reported.
A full crowd at a Board meeting on October 22 helped convince trustees to unanimously vote down the proposal to list the course for sale with a broker. Going into the meeting, five of six trustees had supported listing the course, the Herald reported.
“I think the process worked well,” Village President Erin Smith said of the resident participation. “Our Board is elected to represent our residents, and that’s what they did.”
The golf club has been a contentious issue for two decades as it has failed to generate enough revenue for the village to save money for needed long-term infrastructure improvements on the course, and it has needed taxpayer assistance to cover loan costs despite the use of alternative revenue bonds, the Herald reported.
The golf course will be maintained as its own entity and the village would not peg taxpayers for money to cover operational deficits. Any deficit would be covered by the village’s operating reserves, the Herald reported.
“As a Board we are committed to operating the course as its own enterprise fund, without additional support from property taxes,” Smith said.
Smith had informed residents in the most recent community newsletter that the Board would consider entering an agreement with a brokerage firm to list the golf course for $1.9 million—far less than the village paid for the course when it invested $3.5 million plus interest in a 20-year bond for the property, the Herald reported.
The final bond payment was made in 2011, ending the 20-year loan. It was estimated at the time that removing the bond payment saved a homeowner of a $300,000 house about $240, the Herald reported.
The course’s financial performance would dictate when the board may reopen discussions on a sale, Smith said. The quicker it rebounds, the more attractive it would be to potential buyers while continued struggles could keep it in village control for a longer time, the Herald reported.
Two residents also brought up the possibility of a referendum to let all village citizens vote on the measure, but Smith said the Board has not discussed that option yet, the Herald reported.