ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) ─ Rockford’s oldest golf course gets a reprieve from the chopping block.
Rockford Park District leaders had considered the closure of Sinnissipi Golf Course to close a budget gap, but overwhelming support from the public has them thinking twice.
“If you want your parks, you just need to be a little involved,” said Rockford Park District advocate Jim McDowell.
Sinnissippi Golf Course will remain open through 2020. The Rockford Park District said its been inundated with calls, e-mails, and letters in regard to its future.
“We’re pretty overwhelmed with the showing of support that the community showed for Sinnissippi,” said Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners President Ian Linnabary. “It’s clearly something people care a lot about.”
Sinnissippi’s permanent closure was discussed in an effort to help shrink the Park District’s $1.2 million deficit.
“If they’re not given input from the community, they have nothing but the numbers to work with,” said McDowell. “It showed that they are receptive.”
Board of Commissioners President Ian Linnabary said although the park district has already tried many of the suggestions shared by residents, he was motivated by the amount of people that have voiced their opinion.
“What we’ll always do at the park district is place a priority on those programs and services that our community values most,” said Linnabary.
Parks advocate Jim McDowell says although they won this battle, the war isn’t over. McDowell believes residents need to continue the momentum and help the struggling park district.
“You don’t need to play the out of town golf courses, we need to play the Rockford golf courses. Just do that and it’ll help miraculously,” said McDowell. “We’re not going to stop with Sinnissippi, we’re here to help the park district. We’re here to help the community. We need to start somewhere.”
Wednesday, October 16th the Rockford Park District will hold a press conference to discuss the next steps regarding the proposed 20-20 budget recommendations.
Eyewitness News will have a full report.
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