“We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Second Inaugural Address
The Haves and Have-Mores of Bolingbrook have a luxury golf facility that is bleeding taxpayer dollars. Mayor Roger Claar thinks that’s just fine, thank you very much.
In the chilled interior of this 76,000-square-foot clubhouse, visitors who trod the plush carpets, admire the bottles of Dom Perignon displayed at the cherry-wood bar or dry their hands with monogrammed paper towels in the marble bathrooms may feel like they’ve stepped inside a posh Florida golf resort.
But this chalet-on-steroids is in Chicago’s southwest suburbs, part of the $36 million Bolingbrook Golf Club. Some residents call it the “Rog Mahal” — a reference to longtime Mayor Roger Claar, who championed the project, which also includes a village-owned “luxury” subdivision.
It’s a public amenity that some view as a sign of Bolingbrook’s success in transforming itself over the last three decades into a thriving business hub. But the golf course hasn’t made money since opening April 25, 2002, losing $1.3 million a year on average, and the luxury subdivision is at least $2 million in the hole, according to a Tribune review of village and Will County records.
And then there’s this:
The village has spent at least $9 million propping up the golf course — more than Bolingbrook took in last year in state income taxes (its second largest revenue source), developer contributions and building permits combined, according to financial records.
Well, good for them. Blame it on the Bush Recession, perhaps?
Claar defends the golf course:
Claar disputes the buzz among critics that the clubhouse is his personal retreat, saying he’s there about 10 times a year.
“It’s provided an amenity that thousands of people have enjoyed,” Claar said, listing the events hosted there. “Those things always had to go out of town before.”
I would like to know if Bolingbrook is getting any federal stimulus money at all. Any grants from the state or feds for anything? I hope they took a pass on any grants from the feds, state or county, since obviously they have money to throw away for a bottles of Dom Perignon.
What a colossal waste of taxpayer money.
Sorry, that’s all I’ve got on this one. I don’t see how anyone can defend such a careless waste of money.
Among his credential listed on the Village of Bolingbrook’s Web site, we find, “Republican Mayors and Elected Officials Vice-President and Executive Board Member.”
Is this your idea of fiscal responsibility, Bolingbrook? Is this sound, conservative Republican economics?
There is no such a thing. This is greed, pure and simple.