The details of a deal that may eventually commit more than $4.25 million to improve Settler's Hill Golf Course in Geneva met the liking of a Kane County Forest Preserve commission Thursday.
Commissioners are hammering out the final language of a plan that would see $550,000 committed to the project this year and an additional $300,000 next year.
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All that money would come from an account Kane County created in the days when Settler's Hill was a working landfill. All the money in the fund is legally obligated for future use and maintenance of the property. The first real use of that money will be revamping the golf course to make it more competitive with other local courses.
Forest preserve district Executive Director Monica Meyers laid out the estimated costs of each phase of the course improvements Thursday. The first phase involves converting hole No. 1 into a driving range, changing Nos. 12 and 15, building a new No. 13 and reconfiguring No. 17 to accommodate other changes. The existing No. 13 will become a chipping range.
"We would really like to break ground still this year," Meyers said. "The more we can do during the winter time, the less it will affect play on the golf course."
The second phase involves revamping the remaining holes and improving drainage on the course. Practice greens and a rough estimate of the work needed to prepare the site for a new clubhouse would also come in phase two. That work has a projected cost of about $2.3 million.
Phase three adds six new holes, creating a new nine-hole executive course. The plan for that course was recently modified to accommodate a new, neighboring cross country facility forest preserve commissioners are also working on. The cost for the six new holes is about $1.2 million.
The $4.25 million tally so far doesn't include the actual building costs for the new clubhouse. There may also be significant added costs to truck in soil to create the new holes.
However, commissioners are hoping to reduce or zero out that cost by creating a temporary "clean fill" operation at the old landfill. If permitted by the Illinois EPA, it would provide the soil needed for the cross country track by charging contractors to dump their soil and clean construction materials.