“Due Diligence” Lacking in Lakewood’s RedTail Club House Consideration, Resident Says

Reprinted from the Northwest Herald by permission of letter writer Steve Willson:

 No RedTail Banquet Hall

The Lakewood village president stated the village staff did its “due diligence” in considering options for a new RedTail clubhouse, and the village manager said she had prepared estimates of revenue from a new facility.

These statements are false.

Responses to my Freedom of Information requests confirm there was

  • no analysis of the cost to repair the existing clubhouse,
  • no consideration of replacing the clubhouse with a similar structure,
  • no analysis of the long-run trend in demand for golf,
  • no analysis of demand for banquet facilities,
  • no projections of the cost or operating a banquet hall, and
  • no analysis of the effect of a competing banquet hall on Turnberry golf course.

The recommended $500,000 subsidy for a new clubhouse is not from revenues legally dedicated to or produced by RedTail but simply from unrestricted government revenues.

Drawing of proposed new RedTail Golf Course clubhouse.

Golf rounds are up since the pandemic, but the long run trend is negative.

As for banquet hall demand,

  • D’Andrea closed,
  • Turnberry’s banquet room is used 10 days a year, and
  • Crystal Woods put golf simulators in their banquet room.

I was informed government subsidized enterprises don’t hurt private businesses, so if residents of Turnberry find themselves living around a weed field someday soon, the village board doesn’t care.

Trunberry Country Club in Lakewood, Illinois.

The village board should not put taxpayers at risk with a big new banquet hall venture.

The clubhouse should be repaired if possible, and, if not, replaced with the smallest structure needed to accommodate golfers during the day, not parties at night.


Comments

“Due Diligence” Lacking in Lakewood’s RedTail Club House Consideration, Resident Says — 9 Comments

  1. I actually don’t understand why the Village still owns Red Tail.

    There MAY have been a short-term justification during the real estate meltdown to avoid an expensive to maintain empty field surrounding a lot of premium real estate.

    But, over a decade later, not so much.

    If expanding and renovating Red Tail makes sense, it should be sold to a private operator who can make the capital improvements.

    Maybe the village can use the windfall to give residents a tax break as inflation explodes and the economy crumbles.

  2. There are people telling me this is a done deal-that’s it’s gonna happen!

    Is that true are is there still time to fight this nonsense?

  3. Unfortunately we were misled about the condition of the clubhouse by Stephan and Smith.

    They spent $200k on a renovation without understanding the condition of the structure.

    I do find it amusing that Steve Willson now has an issue with using impact fee funds when he didn’t make a peep as Stephan spent them illegally.

  4. He spent over $120,000 on a road not associated with the area the impact fees were collected.

    Not only that, but he spent these funds without Board approval (only going back for approval after he was caught).

  5. He spent over $120,000 on a road not associated with the area the impact fees were collected.

    Not only that, but he spent these funds without Board approval (only going back for approval after he was caught)

  6. Hampshire.

    Not that it didn’t need to be repaired but the use of impact fee funds in an area that did not pay into the fund is not allowed by state statute unless the expenditure is related to an impact caused by the area from which the funds were collected.

    Pretty simple.

    Interesting Willson chose to ignore that when Stephan spent impact funds.

    Or all of Redtail’s reserve funds (plus some) without doing any due diligence as to the viability of the existing structure.

    Or manipulated the Redtail deck project into 3 individual invoices to avoid the competitive bidding process.

    I find Willson’s motives to be disingenuous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.