This is a follow-up post to Carl's earlier heads-up on the Frank Govern (formerly known as Peter Jans) golf course. I am posting it separately rather than as a comment so that it doesn't get buried. Looks to me, at first read, like the City is cutting the golf course a break on water bill but taking a close look, thru the end of the year, at the status of the course. Closure of the course is a possibility. Personally I am not seeing any cloak and dagger here at this point. But it signals some serious attention being paid, and the neighborhood should pay similar attention. Obviously, anyone with opinions or insight is free to chime in at Human Resources.
Update: my first version of this post implied that the City is charging the course for sewer bills, as appears on most water bills. This may not be the case. I do note that the golf course not only uses very little sewerage, but operates as a massive soakaway, absorbing enormous amounts of stormwater that would otherwise go into Evanton's streets, sewers, and maybe basements.
I would point out that (a) we are still in a recession regardless of what the economists say, and (b) it was a really rough, wet, cool spring for golf.
Anyway, per the City packet, here is what is on the menu for the June 6 meeting:
For Human Services Committee Meeting of June 6, 2011
For Action (or Introduction)
To: Human Services Committee
From: Wally Bobkiewicz, City Manager
Subject: Resolution 37R11:
Expressing Legislative Findings Regarding the Status
of the City’s Sublease with the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association for the Frank Govern Memorial Golf Course
Date: June 6, 2011
Recommended adoption of Resolution 37R11
regarding the City’s sublease with the
Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association for the Frank Govern Memorial Golf Course.
The City has been working with the Board of Directors of the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association for several months to address unpaid water service charges for the
golf course. The Association currently owes $12,280.53 in charges. The Board hoped to be able to agree to a repayment plan in April, but has notified the City that it does not have the resources to do so. The long term inability of the Association to pay its water bills brings into question the ongoing viability of the Association to operate the golf course. Staff believes it is appropriate for the City to take several actions to ensure the future operation and upkeep of the golf course property.
Staff is recommending adoption of Resolution 37R11
to address these issues:
1. Staff would evaluate the terms and conditions of the existing sublease between the City and Association to determine if conditions exist for termination of the sublease and report back to the City Council on September 1, 2011. If conditions do exist for termination, staff
recommends that termination occur on December 31, 2011.
2. City Council would hold in abeyance past due water service charges and withhold future charges through December 31, 2011. Staff believes this is appropriate because the cost of the City to assume control and maintain the subleased property exceeds the value of the water consumed by the golf course.
3. The City Manager and the Director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services would investigate costs associated with maintaining the golf course property as open space/park land, and also investigate other uses
of the property consistent with it remaining a golf facility/open space/park land.
Staff will continue to work with the Association Board of Directors to resolve the golf course’s financial issues and alternative approaches the Association may consider for
the operation of the golf course.
Expressing Legislative Findings Regarding the Status of the City’s Sublease with the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association for the Frank Govern Memorial Golf Course
WHEREAS, since 1919 the City has leased (“the Master Lease”) certain property (“the Demised Premises”), from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of
Greater Chicago (“the District”, formerly known as the Sanitary District of Chicago) 100 East Erie Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611; and
WHEREAS, since 1919 the City has sublet the certain portion of Demised Premises, to the EvanstonWilmette
Golf Course Association, Inc., 1030 Central Street,
Evanston, Illinois 60201, hereinafter (“the Association”), formerly the Evanston Community Recreation Association, Inc., for use in connection with the Association’s
operation of a public fee golf course, the Peter Jans Golf Course (“the sublease”); and
WHEREAS, the said sublease with the Association has been amended from time to time; and
WHEREAS, said public fee golf course consists of eleven (11) holes located in the City of Evanston and seven (7) holes located in the Village of Wilmette;
WHEREAS, as permitted by the Master Lease, said sublease between the City and the Association runs concurrently with the Master Lease until May 31, 2032;
WHEREAS, the Association owes the City $12,280.53 in past due water service charges as of May 11, 2011; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the sublease, the Association must pay annually to the City 25% of 11/18ths of the Association’s annual net income for each calendar year; and
WHEREAS, the past due water service charges owed to the City by the Association constitute a substantial deficiency in the continued operation of the Golf Course; and
WHEREAS, if the Association is unable to fulfill its obligations under the sublease in the short term, the City will be obligated to maintain the property at a level
which will protect the health and safety of City residents at a cost that will exceed the water service charges; and
WHEREAS, due to the aforementioned deficiency, the City Council may find that a sublease of that certain portion of the Demised Premises to the Association may no longer be in the best interest of the City of Evanston, and that it is necessary and proper for the City to review and consider the issues that may result if it continues with the sublease.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF EVANSTON, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS:
SECTION 1: That the abovementioned recitals are hereby found as fact and made a part hereof.
SECTION 2: The City Manager and Corporation Counsel are hereby authorized and directed to evaluate the terms and conditions for terminating the sublease with the Association in such fashion as may be determined to be in the best interest of the City and approved as to form by the Corporation Counsel.
SECTION 3: The City Manager and Corporation Counsel will report to the City Council on or after September 1, 2011 his findings with respect to the Association’s obligations under the sublease. This report shall also evaluate the City’s right to terminate the sublease, said termination which the City Manager will recommend be effective as of December 31, 2011. The City and Association shall
continue to meet during this time to assess other options as well.
SECTION 4: That the City agrees to hold in abeyance all past due and owing water service charges of the Association that are payable to the City. Further,
the City will not seek payment for any water service charges incurred by the Association from the effective date of this Resolution through December 31, 2011.
SECTION 5: The City Manager and the Director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services are hereby authorized to investigate costs associated with maintaining the Demised Premises as open space/park land, and to also investigate other uses of the Demised Premises consistent with it remaining a golf facility/open space/park land.
SECTION 6: All other fees, charges, and annual income payments incurred by the Association payable to the City or any other thirdparty as required by the terms of the sublease or the Master Lease shall remain in full force and effect. The City shall not be responsible for any fees or costs that have been or may be incurred by the Association that are payable to any other thirdparty.
SECTION 7: That this Resolution 37R11
shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of its passage and approval in the manner provided by law.
Elizabeth B. Tisdahl, Mayor
Rodney Greene, City Clerk
Adopted: __________________, 2011