Buffalo Grove Officials:
In February, the Village hired Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd. to study development of the Buffalo Grove Golf Course. I believe this development would be a mistake for the following reasons (with some help from a retired city attorney):
1. A primary MUNICIPAL FUNCTION is to provide for PARKS and RECREATION – just like streets, utilities, water, sewer lines, fire, police, and emergency medical services. Our tax levy is for all these purposes.
2. A golf course benefits the entire village: It is crime free and without pollution (as opposed to filling the site with people and malls). Most villages place golf courses in flood plains. They are a natural site because of lakes and creeks running through them.
3. Voter approval : For these reasons, most states, or village charters, require VOTER APPROVAL to sell off a municipal property used as a golf course/park to a private developer. This is usually placed on the ballot in the next election in April or November. (What was the conclusion of the City Attorney on this requirement?)
4. Increased flooding: To place structures in a flood plain, the village must raise elevation, It must determine minimum “fill in,” so as not to interfere with abutting properties. The other half of the golf course will be flooded, making it unusable.
As pavement of open land increases, so will runoff increase into smaller, then larger creeks. Rate of flow will be at a faster pace – perhaps too fast to be absorbed. Overflow may then back up into houses.
Under the leadership of Trustee Berman, we have finally solved the decades old flooding problem in my neighborhood in south Buffalo Grove. Wouldn’t we be going backwards with this development?
5. WHERE did the Village find the $80,000 to FUND this engineering study for the golf course? Usually the final Budget is approved in September. Since this February appropriation came after the previously approved Budget, it requires an amendment – written approval of the City Manager, or a special ordinance. Where did the Village find the money? In other words, who or what LOST money? Were employees furloughed?
Is this only “Phase I” of the funding? Will more costly studies be needed: Phase II, Phase III,….?
6. What if the economy turns around dramatically? The “Downtown Buffalo Grove” proposal, which may include the golf course, is for a TIF. For 30 or 40 years, there will be LOST REVENUE to the general fund of the Village of Buffalo Grove. Sales and property tax rebates would be given to TIF stores and offices. (Also, this would hurt existing businesses elsewhere in Buffalo Grove).
7. In my opinion, only a village on the verge of bankruptcy should close a golf course.
All along Dundee Road, in my area, there are shuttered car dealerships, numerous vacancies in strip malls, and in Plaza Verde. The sites are already zoned for Business purposes. They should be producing revenue before a golf course is ever closed!