Popular Peoria Park District Facilities on Chopping Block

Published 08/28 2014 06:56PM

Updated 08/28 2014 06:59PM

PEORIA - The fate of some popular Peoria Park District activities is up in the air.

The park district is looking to make cuts. It's facing a shortfall of more than one million dollars.

The district reveals that its reserve fund is nearly three million dollars down from where it was in 2010.

The Peoria Park District said it’s already shaved down jobs over the past few years. Now, it’ll either be one golf course or one of Peoria's pools that will be closed..

Detweiller Golf Course is just one of the six courses that could close in order for the district to get back on track financially.

While it's smaller than many of the others, that's what some say make it special.

“It's just a real fast course to play and it really does cover the gamut of golfer, whether you're a beginner or whether you're a senior golfer, said Supervisor of Golf Operations, Sarah Cordis. “People just love it!”
But, love isn't paying the bills.

The number of rounds of golf being played are way down from 2000.
In 2013, only 112,000 rounds of golf were played, which is more than a 50% decrease. Those numbers aren’t expected to rise much.

Detweiller Golf Course has been on the chopping block before, but they added some things to kick up more interest.

“We added Foot Golf down here at Detweiller to get more exposure,” said Cordis, “It's really opened up Detweiller to a new demographic of folks who may not have known where Detweiller was [or] that Detweiller existed.”

If it’s not a golf course that’s cut, it would be Central Park Pool. That’s an alternative that's not sitting well with Derek Amerman.

He’s an assistant coach of the Peoria Area Water Wizards - a local swim team.

“PAWW is one if not the premiere team in downstate Illinois. We had the 8th best 200 breastroker in the entire country at senior nationals a couple weeks ago,” said Amerman.
Central Park's pool has eight swimming lanes. Amerman said closing it would be  both a nuisance and a setback.

“If we were to go somewhere else in the area that would probably be a six lane pool [and] our numbers would decrease by about 25%. And that would be 25% more swimmers that wouldn't have the opportunity to be able to do what they're doing at PAWW.”

Central Parks has suffered a loss in revenue over the last few years.

It's projected to drop to about 40,000 for 20-14. That's down more than 120,000 from 2012.

There's no official word on what cuts the park district will make.

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