Being a resident of Lakewood, which purchased a golf course and promised the fees would pay back the loan, excuse me if I find Johnsburg’s impending purchase of a golf course catching my attention.
I remember when I asked the Lakewood Village Board if the acquisition would “cost me a dime.”
I was assured it would not, that fees would cover the bond payments.
Taking the Board at its word, I stopped following the issue.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that the Lakewood Village Board had decided to issue alternative revenue bonds, rather than revenue bonds.
The reason for the change was that the interest rate would be lower.
- Revenue bonds are repaid from revenue from the project
- Alternative revenue bonds are repaid from revenue from the project…unless that is insufficient. Then, property taxpayers are on the hook.
So, Johnsburg taxpayers, please make certain that your golf course is not financed with alternative revenue bonds.
The Village of Johnsburg sent this to residents yesterday:
CHAPEL HILL GOLF COURSE UPDATE
Last month the Village announced that it was under contract to purchase the Chapel Hill Golf Course.
The Village Board unanimously approved the acquisition in an effort to protect an important recreational open space, which serves the Johnsburg community.
Since the announcement, Village officials have been busy preparing to close on the property.
Village staff have been finalizing talks with local financial institutions to secure the most advantageous financing.
Additionally, the Village has been focusing on the details of a management contract for the operations of the course.
Revenues derived from the course’s operations will be used to pay back the note secured to acquire the property.
The purchase of the course will not result in a tax increase to Village residents.
Overall, the course is in good condition but the Village will be addressing some maintenance items that will enhance the property.
Upon closing, the Village will take steps to begin some general cleanup of the property by removing dead trees, cleaning up the overgrowth along the Chapel Hill Road fence line and clearing miscellaneous brush.
The old clubhouse is in disrepair and will likely be demolished.
The management company will winterize the course this fall and prepare it for golfing season in the spring.
Also in the spring, maintenance will take place on the entry road and the parking lot will be patched and striped.
The Village’s approach continues to center on providing a golf course facility that is well maintained yet affordable for our residents.
In that regard, the Village plans to establish reduced greens fees for Village residents and make special fee arrangements for the Johnsburg High School Golf Team members.