DuPage forest preserve plans to allocate $12 million for clubhouse

 
 
Updated 12/4/2018 3:40 PM
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  • Daniel Hebreard

    Daniel Hebreard

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is expected to set aside $12 million in its next budget for a proposal to rebuild a clubhouse at its golf course in Addison.

But that doesn't guarantee the project will happen at The Preserve at Oak Meadows.

Newly seated forest preserve President Daniel Hebreard said Tuesday he has questions that must be answered before the board decides whether to seek bids for construction. The vote could come as early as February.

"I have a new wealth of information to pull from," said Hebreard, a Woodridge Democrat who presided over his first meeting on Tuesday. "I'd like to review all the facts before we discuss it."

Hebreard's remarks came after commissioners publicly reviewed the district's tentative budget for the coming fiscal year, which starts Jan. 1.

The roughly $88.9 million spending plan includes an operating budget of about $38.2 million. The operating portion pays for salaries, supplies and other day-to-day expenses.

Roughly $26.4 million is expected to be allocated for capital projects, including trail work and improvements to St. James Farm Forest Preserve near Warrenville.

When it comes to the clubhouse, officials say the district already has $12 million to fully fund the project.

Still, Hebreard stressed that including the clubhouse in the 2019 budget doesn't mean it's going to be built.

"I'm trying to decide how we're going to move forward," he said.

During the campaign, Hebreard was critical of spending that much money on a clubhouse because the district already has spent $16.8 million to improve The Preserve at Oak Meadows.

The project included restoring a stretch of Salt Creek that flows through the 288-acre property and consolidating two golf courses into a single 18-hole facility with greater flood resistance and more stormwater storage capacity.

So far, officials have been laying the groundwork to rebuild the clubhouse, which operated for decades on the property until the original structure was destroyed in a 2009 fire.

Commissioner Jeff Redick said he hopes the project is approved. While the course is making a profit, he said, a clubhouse will strengthen its position.

"I think it's a good project," the Elmhurst Republican said. "I think it's worthy. I think it's an important improvement to that preserve."

Commissioners are expected to vote later this month on the 2019 spending plan.

More than 70 percent of the revenue for the budget comes from property taxes. The owner of a $300,000 home pays roughly $131 a year in property taxes to the district.

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