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Gurnee boosts Bittersweet Golf Course fund by $40,000

Bittersweet Golf Club Gurnee. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

Bittersweet Golf Club, in Gurnee. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 2, 2013 6:58AM

Gurnee officials have increased their financial commitment by $40,000 to help the new management at Bittersweet Golf Course get off on the right foot in preparing for a successful season opening in April.

Village Administrator Patrick Muetz said GolfVisions, Inc., the new course manager, has already spent $60,000 in preparing for the 2013 season. The Village Board selected the firm in December for a five-year period to operate the village facility.

Muetz said at Monday night’s Village Board meeting the funds were used to catch up on a backlog of maintenance work related to the grounds, clubhouse, purchase of equipment and other essential pre-opening expenses.

He said staff has carefully reviewed work done to date and agrees that additional funding is needed to complete the refurbishment. The village’s fiscal budget already contains $100,000 for this purpose, Muetz said.

“There is still much work to do at the golf course (before opening) and staff does not want to hamper the 2013 season,” he said.

Muetz said the additional funding will allow GolfVisions to pay fixed costs, the bulk of which are equipment leases, recruit new memberships, enroll leagues, plan and market outings, assign permanent tee times, as well as continue a modified maintenance plan.

He said economies will be made in limiting club house operating hours during winter months, maintenance will be conservative, the general manager’s hours will be cut and the grounds superintendent’s work will be limited to priority repairs.

In response to a question asking Muetz about what he thought would happen if the village did not provide the additional $40,000, he said the course would not be able to function until the season begins in April when golfing revenue occurs.

Trustees agreed and amended the five-year management agreement. All trustees agreed, except Trustee Kirk Morris, who abstained because of a conflict of interest with GolfVisions Inc.

In other action, Robert Fuller of Energy Impact Illinois presented information on a home energy conservation program sponsored by an alliance of governmental and utility companies who provide homeowners with low-cost consultations on improving home energy efficiencies.

Fuller said most homes waste 15 percent of their heating by not taking advantage of energy-saving techniques. He suggested homeowners visit for details.

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