Thanks to a group of residents, the Rockford Park District will not be closing Sinnissippi Golf Course in 2020.
A recommendation to close Sinnissippi was made due to it being the lowest-performing course in terms of rounds played. Closing the course would’ve allowed the district to save on irrigation and clubhouse expenses, along with a golf cart lease.
“We have heard the citizens, they’ve asked for some time to help us keep Sinnissippi open and we’re going to give them that time,” said Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners President Ian Linnabary.
Some of the ideas to help Sinnissippi’s finances include hole and course sponsorships and the possible integration of disc golf into the rotation.
“Whatever we come up with is going to have to be sustainable,” said ‘Save Sinnissippi Golf Course’ advocate member Sam Schmitz. “It can’t be a one and done, otherwise, we will be looking at this course closing. Everybody has to be working together.”
Schmitz believes they also have an opportunity to find even more uses for the property.
“I think there’s a visual aspect to this course,” said Schmitz. “People drive down Guilford [Road] or Parkview [Avenue]. Whether it’s 20 below zero or 85 degrees in the summer, it’s a beautiful piece of property.”
Sinnissippi’s operational deficit is expected to be about $120,000 by the end of the year. Advocates will have one year to address the courses financial woes.
“We’ll continue to evaluate its performance, the performance of our other courses and other facilities,” said Linnabary. “How they all come together towards that 2020 budgeting process, that’s what we’ll be looking at in order to measure their success”
Parks advocates say it’s not just about fighting for Sinnissippi but the entire Rockford Park District.
“We’re also going to put plans in place that can be used in other areas of our park district,” said Save Sinnissippi Golf Course advocate member Jim McDowell. “For our pools, our playgrounds, our programs, everything the park district does for our community, we need to help one way or another.”
Suspension of operations at Snow Park at Alpine Hills and Alpine Pool are still being recommended to help eliminate a $1.2 million deficit.