The Effingham Park District Board will reconsider leasing the property where the Evergreen Mini-Golf course stands. The board had previously said no to renegotiating a ten year lease with the current owners of the course, Mark and Julie Pike. The Pikes had been trying to sell the course, but had buyer who wouldn’t be interested unless the park district would agree on renewing their ten year lease. But the now the mini-golf course has a new potential buyer.
Adam Huston, owner of Livin’ it Up Transportation, has expressed that he’d be willing to buy the mini-golf course from the Pikes if the board could commit to at least a five year lease on the property. Several board members were receptive to the idea, though as a body were unable to give a firm commitment. Park Board Chairman David McDevitt said the board would consider a five year lease with the option to renew annually.
While not quite the answer that Huston, or the Pikes, were hoping for, he did say that he was still interested in purchasing the course.
Another issue with the Park District’s current lease is the monthly rent cost, which is currently set at 7% of sales. If a new lease were agreed upon, a new rent would likely need to be negotiated. Huston said he planned to drive up sales at the course by extending its operating season and daily hours along with adding new obstacles. The board could potentially commit to an agreement with the Pikes and Huston at the November board meeting.
In other action, the board agreed to opt into the new Effingham Enterprise Zone. If selected by the state, the new enterprise zone would allow tax incentives to businesses locating in, or expanding within the designated area. One such incentive is an abatement of property taxes, beyond the base amount, for three years on commercial and seven years on industrial businesses. The property tax abatement would result in lost revenue for local taxing bodies, such as the Park District, however offers incentive for economic growth in the area.
Discussion was also had on a potential boxing tournament at the Workman Sports Complex in January. The idea was proposed by the facility’s General Manager Jake Junghanel, who suggested that such an event could generate revenue for the district. Participants would be adults representing local businesses and public bodies. The board gave Junghanel permission to continue looking into the idea.
Membership numbers at the sports complex were also reported. The swim team now has 70 participants and the total number of memberships for the facility is up to 1,688.
The board also discussed appointing a committee that would focus on continuous improvement of the Workman Sports Complex.