The club, owned by a local construction company, wants to make the move so it will have the ability to tap into municipal sewer and water services.
In a joint meeting, the Parks and Annexation Committee and Water and Sewer Committee of the city of Morris, Ill., approved an agreement to bring Morris Country Club (MCC) into the city, reports the Morris Daily Herald.
Committee members unanimously approved the annexation agreement, which will now go on to the full council for approval.
Morris Country Club is now owned by the Sandeno family, which also owns “D” Construction. The owners are seeking to have the club annexed in order to get water and sewer services from the city, the Daily Herald reports.
Only the club’s buildings would be annexed, not the entire golf course, said Mayor Richard Kopczick during the joint meeting on July 5. The land to be annexed is under two acres.
As part of taking in the golf club, the city would have to add another liquor license classification for golf clubs, so MCC could continue with its liquor sales, said City Attorney Scott Belt. Belt said he would look at Grundy County’s golf club license so the transition would be seamless for MCC, which gets its current license from that county.
“That way, if Nettle Creek [Country Club] comes in, we’d already have it,” Kopczick said.
Belt said Nettle Creek is contiguous to the city, should it want to be annexed in the future.
The bar at Morris Country Club is currently being remodeled, by adding on to the west end of the existing building, said Guy Christensen, City Engineer. The project is about six to seven weeks from being completed.
The work is being done under a county building permit, so Belt suggested putting something in the annexation agreement allowing the work to be finished under the county’s supervision, even though it could soon be in the city limits, to avoid any complications with any differences between the county and city’s building regulations.
“Once the project is complete, any other projects would be under the city,” Belt said.
The club is located in Business-4 zoning, where golf courses are allowed as a permitted use, so the annexation will not require a zoning change, the Daily Herald reported.
Alderman Ken Sereno, chairman of the Parks Committee, did not feel the agreement’s sales tax rebate was appropriate, although in the end he did approve the agreement with no changes.
The agreement states the city is aware of substantial upgrades and improvements the owners are doing to the club—so in consideration of this, the city would agree to rebate to the owner 60 percent of the city’s local share of the sales tax it receives from taxable sales at the club. The agreement would be good for 10 years.
Of the 6.25 percent sales tax, the city will get 1 percent, the state 5 percent and Grundy County .25 percent, Kopczick said. Of the city’s 1 percent, it will rebate back 60 percent of its 1 percent.
“I don’t see any reason for the 60-40,” said Sereno. “We’re not getting a Walmart in there.”
Sereno said there is no advantage to the golf club being annexed into the city and, therefore, the city should not give its sales tax back to the club. The club is getting the benefits of water and sewer, while the property taxes the city will get from the club will not amount to much, he said.
Sereno said he feared other properties will ask for the same kind of deal when they want to be annexed into the city. Belt replied that every annexation agreement is different and up to the city’s discretion.
“I understand what you are saying, but, on the other hand, this isn’t the first time we’ve done it. To me, this is a nice piece of property that will be nice to have in the city. But whatever the committee decides, I am going to go with,” said Alderman Julian Houston, a member of both committees.
“I think it’ll pay off in the long run,” Houston added later.
Kopczick said the club will have to put a lot of money in to connecting to the city’s water and sewer. He also pointed out that this kind of agreement has been done before, such as with Ritchie Brothers, a local auction company..
Alderman Duane Wolfe said he agreed with Houston, and all three alderman voted in favor of the agreement.content