Glen Ellyn trustees expressed frustration Monday that renovations to a village-owned golf course could cost more than originally planned.
In an effort to increase profitability at The Village Links of Glen Ellyn, plans have been in the works for more than two years to upgrade the facility, including the addition of a bar, new dining rooms, a dining patio and restrooms, in addition to upgrades on the course.
When the village board approved hiring three firms to complete design work for the project in January, the project's cost estimate was $3.8 million.
Since then, the cost has jumped to $6.3 million -- the result of an expanded project scope including a larger clubhouse building, added parking and stormwater detention, said Matt Pekarek, the village's recreation director.
Pekarek and the project's staff told the village board Monday that they'd be able to cut that number to about $4.4 million -- but several trustees said that wasn't good enough.
After reading Pekarek's memo to the board, Trustee Robert Friedberg said he couldn't "follow this for anything."
"I read this five times and couldn't make heads or tails on it. With all due respect, this is a piece of garbage," Friedberg said.
The project would be funded primarily with revenues from golf fees, with reserves making up the difference if there's a shortfall.
Trustee Peter Cooper questioned revenue projections that showed increases to non-golf revenue as the result of an expanded clubhouse with room for a restaurant and banquet room.
"If we're going to go forward with this project, we have to have a discussion as a village board, what public support are we willing to give this facility?" Cooper said.
He also said the village doesn't want the Village Links to be like the Glen Ellyn Park District's Ackerman Sports and Fitness Center, a project that went over initial cost projections.
Trustee Pete Ladesic said the village could "really miss the ball" if increased revenues don't result from an increased food service business.
"I don't think this is one of those things where if you built it they will come," Ladesic said. "We have to make sure every I is dotted and every T is crossed."
In response to the trustee comments, Village Manager Mark Franz said village staff will continue to refine the project to make sure it is in line with the original cost projection.
"I don't sense there's overwhelming support for this project at this point and time unless we can do (that)," Franz said.
The village board is scheduled to vote on authorizing the project bidding process in July, with final approval slated for September.