The owners of the club sought to have the property brought within the town’s borders, to be able to get city water service. But in the final agreement, only the club’s buildings were annexed, not the entire golf course or parking lot. For 10 years, the city will receive 1% of the liquid, food and pro shop sales tax from the club, with 60% of that being rebated to the owner.
Multiple ordinances to annex a portion of the Morris (Ill.) Country Club were mostly approved by the Morris City Council on August 6, the Morris Daily Herald reported.
For the execution of the annexation agreement, Mayor Richard Kopczick was required by law to vote as well. Alderman Don Hansen cast the only vote against the ordinances.
“I would like the deal better if it annexed in the parking lot. And the sales tax rebate is excessive,” Hansen said.
The Sandeno family, which owns Morris Country Club, sought to have the property annexed to be able to get water service from the city (“Morris (Ill.) CC Seeks Annexation into City“). The decision made by the council, however, only annexed the club’s buildings, which comes to less than two acres, and does not include the entire golf course or its parking lot. The club will be charged a $1,500 impact fee in addition to other related fees, the Daily Herald reported.
Larry Wharrie, an investor in the club who also serves as its attorney, said the club makes $500,000 in sales tax from its beverage, food and pro shop sales annually. The city would receive about 1 percent of that under the ordinance, or $5,000 a year.
However, of that 1 percent, the city will rebate the owner 60 percent of its share for 10 years, as part of the agreement.
While Hansen said that rebate was too much, Wharrie said the investors are making improvements, including expanding the bar and dining room and improving the kitchen facility by adding a basement for storage, the Daily Herald reported.
The rebate is meant to assist with the improvements to increase membership, those who supported it pointed out. When the club was put up for sale, its membership dropped from 300 to 140. Under the agreement, the owners cannot change the club to a public club for two years, which Wharrie said the owners do not intend to do.
Alderman Bill Martin said the club, whether it is private or public, is a “win-win for the city.” If it goes public, it will attract more people and increase sales tax and water use. If membership increases and the club stays private, the same will occur, the Daily Herald reported.
Annexing the entire property was “economically unfeasible,” Wharrie pointed out, because the club has 120 acres and the city has a fee per acre. If the property is later set to become a subdivision, Kopczick said the owners would have to come back to the city for an annexation agreement.
The city also had to add another liquor license classification for golf clubs, so the club could continue with its liquor sales. The property was also rezoned to Business-4 recreational zoning, since all new annexations are originally residential, the Daily Herald reported.
Morris, Ill. is in Grundy County, about 50 miles southwest of Chicago. Its population was 13,636 in the 2010 census. The town is home to the Dresden nuclear power plant, which supplies much of the electricity to the Chicago metropolitan area.careers