Glen Ellyn trustees Monday gave their support for $4.5 million in renovations to a village-owned golf course, taking a considerable shift in tone from a month ago when they expressed frustration at skyrocketing project costs.
Proposed improvements to the 27-hole Village Links of Glen Ellyn, located on the south end of the village at 485 Winchell Way, include a clubhouse expansion with a new bar, dining rooms, dining patio and restrooms, and course updates, such as the addition of covered and heated tee stations to the driving range, lights for use at night and better fairway targets.
Initial estimates put the project's phase I price tag at $3.8 million. In May, village Recreation Director Matt Pekarek said an expanded project scope had increased the price tag to $6.3 million -- a number trustees balked at.
On Monday, the village board gave its approval to moving ahead with the project at the $4.5 million level -- a number Pekarek says he's confident can be funded by golf fee revenues, backed up by some $2 million in Village Links reserves.
Though some board members still expressed reservations with Pekarek's revenue projections for Village Links, they provided their endorsement to improving the village-owned course.
"Irrespective of the income it generates, it's an asset," said Trustee Peter Cooper. "It has degraded over time ... If we don't commit capital dollars to preserve it, it will continue to degrade."
The expanded project scope, developed in consultation with the village-hired project architects and engineers, includes a larger clubhouse and patio, an enhanced kitchen and expanded driving range. Those additions could make the facility more attractive to customers and help increase its profit potential, Pekarek said.
Though the price tag has increased, revenue projections as a result of the expanded scope have also gone up. New annual golf course revenues are now estimated at $305,000, from the old estimate of $246,000.
Trustee Diane McGinley said the Village Links has gone into disrepair, and it will continue to go along that path if the village doesn't take care of it.
"I know we hit you hard for these numbers," McGinley told Pekarek. "You've done your due diligence ... I pushed back hard last time. But you are the expert in this. You went through the numbers. You believe you can do this."
Pekarek said the village's finance commission is working on developing a 10-year financial forecast that will provide more specific projections of golf course revenues.
The village plan commission is expected to evaluate the project, before it would come back to the village board for approval.
Pekarek has targeted Oct. 1 as the starting construction date.