By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – The Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners has recommended permanently closing Sinnissippi Golf Course and suspending operations at two other facilities because of a looming budget deficit, Executive Director Jay Sandine announced Monday.
Sandine said the possible closure of the nine-hole golf course is part of the board’s planning process for the remainder of the year and the organization’s need to reduce the $1.2 million deficit for 2020.
“This is just the beginning of our budget planning process, but nothing has been decided,” Sandine said in a statement. “It is important to us that we shared these recommendations early in the budget planning process, so we can have candid conversations and have time to plan.”
The board also recommended suspending operations of the Alpine Hills snow park and Alpine Pool.
“We actually started having this discussion with our community last year, sharing how we are funded, what the community values, and where community members want their tax dollars spent,” Sandine added. “Our goal is to also become less dependent on property taxes, live within our means, and reposition the Park District to better achieve priorities established by the Board and citizens we serve.”
Sandine said over the next few months, district leaders will utilize board priorities and community feedback along with expense, revenue, attendance, and trends reports to develop the 2020 budget. A final decision about Monday’s recommendations, along with the tax levy, will be made by the Board of Commissioners at its Nov. 19 meeting.
The Park District owns five golf courses: Aldeen, Elliot, Ingersoll, Sandy Hollow and Sinnissippi, which opened in 1912.
Snow Park at Alpine Hills is part of Alpine Hills Adventure Park that also includes Zip Rockford. The facility was previously home to a five-hole beginner golf course.
At 4310 Newburg Road, Alpine Pool features an”L” shaped pool with a diving well, two drop slides, 1-meter diving board, and wading pool.
Rockford Park District Photo