Besides the transfer of fire protection from the privatized service provided by American Emergency Service Corporation to the Woodstock Fire Protection District, the other issue I found interesting was that the village golf course is in financial trouble.
The result was that the village board voted to tax property taxpayers for the entire amount owed in the last year of the non-referendum bond issue.
Blamed for the inability to make a profit was the lack of a decent club house.
Red Tail now uses cobbled together trailers which do not produce much food and beverage sales.
There is so little money left in reserve that there may not be enough to operate for a full year in the near future.
After looking at the figures new Trustee Blake Hobson said, “I don’t see a new building.”
A need for $50,000 in capital improvements was mentioned by Trustee Gene Furey.
Explaining the competition, he told of visiting Oak Ridge Golf Course and stopping in a couple of years ago.
He asked the price per round and was told that it was $80.
He reported it was down to $35 now.
“We’re worried about the short-term,” Village President Erin Smith said.
“If we have the same revenues we have this year, we may not be able to run it all year.”
Trustee Carl Davis pointed out that the bond tax had been abated in total for 8 years and in part a ninth year. ( I so vividly remember the $500 a year golf course tax during the 1990’s. Those with more valuable homes obviously paid more.)
Davis pointed to the downturn in revenue being caused by
- a downturn in the economy
- Turnberry Country Club
- the Huntley Park District course
I asked how much it would cost in terms of cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
The answer was 21 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
“I loath this tax,” Hobson said.
“I don’t think a municipality has any business owning a for-profit (business).”
During the discussion, I suggested selling the course, which Smith interpreted as leading to the construction of town homes. I was thinking single family homes, but her point that selling the course would negatively affect the value of the homes fronting on the course is accurate.
An opponent of the proposed SportsPlex shared this idea with me yesterday:
“Maybe the Village should think about selling the Red Tail land to the sportsplex developer.
“You would eliminate the Red [Fox]Tail debt, sewer and water is already there (saving Lakewood $5-6 million), golfers could move to Turnberry and help it out of debt and give Lakewood some revenue, and Lou Malnati’s would love the traffic.
“On top of all these increased funds to Lakewood, how about all the added real estate tax revenue that Lakewood would now get for this developed property?
“They would still have the corner to develop when the economy improves and they can afford sewer and water.
“Sounds like a win-win.”
The screams you hear from those around Red Tail probably echo those living near the proposed SportsPlex location west of Route 47.
Unlike the opponents to the current proposed location, however, those living around Red Tail can vote in the upcoming Lakewood village elections.