Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, says she wants to explore setting up a special taxing district to fund operations of the financially troubled golf course along the North Shore Channel.
At a Evanston Human Services Committee meeting Monday night, Fiske said the new taxing district could be formed to include both Evanston and Wilmette — the two towns that the golf course spans.
“For a lot or reasons, I think it makes a lot of sense,” Fiske said, noting that she already lives within and pays taxes to the Lighthouse Park District, one of two districts in the city that operate independently of the city’s recreation department.
“The golf course serves all of us,” Fiske said. “It’s a wonderful resource and I’d like to find a way to put it on a firm footing now and in the future.”
She said she’d asked City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz to explore how such a park district might be established.
Meanwhile, Perry Weinberg, the new president of the Evanston-Wilmette Community Golf Association, the non-profit that operates the course on land leased from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District by the two municipalities, said the association is on the verge of settling a lawsuit filed last year by two board members.
Golf Association President Perry Weinberg.
And Weinberg says the association has managed to come up with the money to pay half of its unpaid debt to the municipalities for water used to irrigate the course.
He said the association, which has struggled to find a full complement of board members in recent years, has now lined up 22 candidates for board seats at a meeting to be held on Jan. 24.
And he said the board is in the process of setting up strict new financial controls, which, along with the expected settlement of the lawsuit, should help with fundraising for the course this year.
Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, thanked Weinberg for the progress on resolving the golf association’s problems, and said she’s been working with association members and MWRD Commissioner Debra Shore to determine whether the course could safely pump irrigation water from the North Shore Channel to reduce the amount it needs to buy from the municipalities.
The committee asked Bobkiewicz to prepare a new agreement further extending the time granted the golf association to pay off the rest of the overdue water bill.