News Local/State

Rantoul Voters To Decide Whether To Dissolve Park District

A fiew of Brookhill Golf Course, north of Rantoul.

A view of Brookhill Golf Course, the Rantoul Park District's golf course, located north of Rantoul. Rantoul Park District

The Rantoul Park District has struggled to keep its money-losing Brookhill Golf Course going in recent years. Now, a referendum on the November 8th ballot in Rantoul proposes to solve the problem by dissolving the park district.

The referendum was placed on the ballot by a group called “Friends of Rantoul’s Parks”. The group accuses the park district with spending most of its money on the golf course north of Rantoul, while neglecting its other parks.

“Friends of Rantoul’s Parks” member Jack Anderson says if the referendum passes, the golf course and other park district lands will become property of the village of Rantoul. Anderson says he’s willing to leave the future of the golf course in the hands of Rantoul village officials.

 “We’re not anti-golf”, said Anderson, who also serves on the Champaign County Board. “We just want to see our tax dollars we pay for parks to go for parks in our community, not just accommodating 2% of the population that play golf – which turns out to be just 260 people, is what the park district has spent about a billion dollars in recent years on.”

Rantoul has its own parks and recreation department, with its own park land. The village has also handled maintenance and upkeep on Rantoul Park District properties.

Meanwhile, Rantoul Park Board members have told the News-Gazette that they believe that Brookhill Golf Course can be kept open.

They say that closing the course would be bad for Rantoul, because the future of the town’s other golf course, the privately-owned Willow Pond, is not secure.