After more than a year of negotiations with the landowner, the Collinsville Area Recreation District won't be buying 30 acres of land near the Arlington Greens Golf Course.
In June 2011 the CARD board voted to purchase a strip of land between the golf course and an interstate for $16,000 an acre, or around $480,000. The board did not get an independent appraisal of the land that was described as "empty farm and swamp land."
The CARD Board of Commissioners at its Dec. 18 meeting voted to approve a resolution releasing the district from its agreement to buy the land.
"This takes a big load off the district's back," said CARD Executive Director Terry Wilson. "The property owner could have held our feet to the fire and made us pay but now we're able to take that money and use it for something the taxpayers and the district actually needs."
The land is where the golf course drains most of its water and former CARD director Mark Badasch at the time said the district was concerned about development on the property that could affect drainage at the golf course.
The agreement recently reached between CARD and the landowner includes an exchange of land. The district will trade 10 acres of land near the golf course that is inaccessible due to a canal that runs along the property and will receive a 10 acre drainage ditch. In addition, the district will pay $15,000 to the landowner for "their time and efforts," according to Wilson.
"After attorney fees and having the land surveyed, we'll probably spend $20,000 to $25,000 to get us out of an agreement for $480,000 for land we couldn't use," Wilson added. "This really is a win-win for us. We're out of that agreement and we have a drainage ditch that will allow Arlington Greens to offer more play during the wet season."
The golf course is located at 200 Arlington Drive in Granite City. The district purchased the golf course out of bankruptcy for $5 million in 2007. Since the district has owned the golf course, more than 30,000 rounds of golf are played annually at the course.