Evanston officials say the non-profit that operates the golf course along the North Shore Channel is more than $12,000 behind in paying its water bill.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, in a memo prepared for Monday night’s Human Services Committee meeting, says the group, the Evanston Wilmette Golf Course Association, has told city officials it doesn’t have the resources to pay the debt.

Bobkiewicz says the unpaid debt “brings into question the ongoing viability of the association to operate the golf course.”

The golf course property in Evanston is owned by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and leased to the city, which in turn has subleased it to the association since 1919.

Eleven of the course’s 18 holes are located in Evanston, the other seven are in Wilmette.

A resolution to be voted on by the committee Monday night would direct the city manager to evaluate whether it is in the city’s interest to terminate the association’s lease and report back to the City Council no sooner than Sept. 1.

It also would direct the staff to stop billing the golf course for additional water service between now and the end of the year.

That, the memo says, is appropriate because the cost to the city to take over and maintain the property as a golf course is greater than the value of the water the golf course consumes.

It also directs the staff to look into the cost of maintaining the property as park land and investigate other potential uses for it.

The golf course lease also requires the association to pay a portion of its annual net income to the city. The memo doesn’t indicate whether the association has the funds to continue making that payment.

The Human Services Committee meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers at the Civic Center.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. What about taxes?

    Anyone who walks or jogs past areas of the golf course, has to notice people walking onto or even driving up to holes far from the first hole where they are suppose to pay their fee.  I've never seen anyone including grounds keepers checking for the tag or whatever they are suppose to get to prove they paid the fee.

    How much tax revenue is the city losing?  Would their collecting the fee enable them to pay their water [other?] bills?

  2. What is going on here?

    Having once taken a look at over due water bills there were several accounts the city had in the thousands of dollars.   It appeared they had not taken action.   What is interesting here is the city trying to kick the golf course out?   What is up with Wally suggesting he wants to close Chandler Center? Now to Kick the golf course out?  What is Wally up to?  What scheme is Wally, the council and the Mayor up to?

    We all know the water bills are over inflated, accounting for the waste and mismanagement of the Utilities Department so the real cost to the city is not even close to $12,000.  

    Maintaining open space of the golf course is important, given all the city screw ups – maybe Wally can account for the $700,000 in the under  sale of yard waste stickers?  Which is almost 60 times the price of the water the golf course owes!

    Why are Wally and friends OK with given out free space in the Civic Center for clinic? Why are the OK in taking trips to Washington to lobby on our dime? I suspect  they have wasted at least $12,000 on the Clinic?


  3. Golf course non-payment of water bill

    Why not turn the water off, and keep billing them until they pay up?  You know, just like you do with us regular folks

  4. Golf Course water

    The real question is not whether the golf course should be watering, but rather, who has an agenda behind the scenes, and to do what, that the public knows nothing about?  

    Better ask some questions.  And is there a proposal to close Chandler Center?  Is it budgetary or otherwise motivated?


  5. Golf Course not worth Playing

    This golf course is not worth playing on yet paying to play.  They changed the course format and it is awful.  This is why they can't afford to pay their water bill.  It is being mismanaged.  Perhaps if someone actually stepped up and took over the management this could be a profitable course worth saving in Evanston.  Evanston hasn't had a vision in decades.  They need individuals who can think strategically down the road.  This is why the downtown area, Dempster & Dodge, Oakton, & Main Street areas have vacancies that don't seem to bother those making the decision on our taxpaying behalf.  Their too worried about getting rid of plastic bags & what to call their Alderman.  Give me a break! 

  6. Let the place die-

    If the golf course is not paying its water bill, then they should be closed. If no one wants to take over and make it into a profitable enterprise, then close the darn thing, sell the land to developers who can develop then land into property tax paying individuals. With all the churches and the NU who don't pay property taxes, any idea that will expand the tax paying base is welcome to me.

    And for the sake of full disclosure: I live next to the course.


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