Panel chosen to advise Rantoul park district
RANTOUL — There are a couple of bank officials, a village trustee, a retired insurance official, a retired corporate officer, a former teacher and at least one non-golfer.
They make up the citizens advisory committee named to study the future of Rantoul's Brookhill Golf Course and the Rantoul Park District.
They were selected from 27 people who expressed interest. "There were a lot of good applicants," park district board President Gary Hardin said.
All seven have been residents of Rantoul for at least 10 years:
— Dennis Long, chairman and CEO, Bank of Rantoul.
— Bill Shaffner, retired executive vice president, Jeld-Wen, Rantoul.
— Jeremy Reale, Rantoul village trustee and Thomasboro village clerk.
— Angela Ervin, employed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, a non-golfer who has a degree in recreation administration.
— Todd Bryan, loan officer, Bank of Rantoul.
— Errol Bergman, retired from the insurance business.
— Terry Workman, retired Rantoul Township High School teacher.
The committee will advise the park board concerning the future, mission and goals of the park district. At the forefront: the red ink bleeding from Brookhill.
Resident Jack Anderson said during a May presentation that the taxpayer-supported course had lost $883,110 from 2010-13 and consumes the majority of the board's budget. The board also oversees the operation of five parks.
At the park board's last meeting, Treasurer Connie Nelson said that while expenses "are in good shape" at Brookhill, projected revenues are running behind. She said expenses are about 60 percent of budget. Pro shop income, however, is at 48.3 percent of budget projections.
Brookhill Manager Jared Busboom said part of the problem might be due to the postponement of two golf tournaments, according to Nelson. One normally held in June and one normally held in July were moved back until later in the summer.
"I'm still concerned, obviously," Nelson said. "I really don't know where else to look for cutting expenses."
Park board members said staff and other expenses have been pared to reduce financial losses. Torres said the golf course employs six people "and two weekenders."
The district is also expected to save about $2,000 on its annual golf cart maintenance contract by not having a company maintain the carts for the rest of the year.
"Our carts weren't getting enough hours to justify the maintenance cost of $4,650 a year that we have always paid," Hardin said.