Sherrard and golf course agree on liquor license

Cala Smoldt/Correspondent

In a 4-1 vote Monday, Sherrard Village Board approved renewing Fyre Lake Golf Club's liquor license.

In a heated debate, Trustee Karan Dean said, "There's been too much reneging on promises. I don't see it."

Village Clerk Theresa Johnson said they received an email from developer Todd Raufeisen early that day saying he would make payments totaling $15,000 over the full season. She said it would be applied towards the, "roughly $375,000," he owes the village. He purchased the golf course in 2012 and has run the par-70 Nicklaus design golf course since 2013.

Mr. Raufeisen said, "I can understand the anger and disappointment - and I take full responsibility." He said, "Even though it's been disappointing and let people down, this community needs a vibrant and active golf course. If it's in the paper tomorrow we lose the liquor license, we will lose a lot of business."

"If you punish the golf course, you're gonna punish the Village of Sherrard."

The board told him in no uncertain terms that if he misses one payment, due on the first day of every month, they would not hesitate to pull the license. He agreed to abide by the agreement. He hopes to pay more depending on traffic to the course which he says last year brought in around 15,000 customers.

Confusion was discussed about the upcoming sale of foreclosed lots on the Fyre Lake Property. Mr. Rayfeisen clarified, "There's an LLC that owns the golf course, the debt is with the LLC that owns the grounds." He said the foreclosure will be on the grounds.

"You rob a liquor license it's over. It's done."

Trustee Kevin Iverson said, "I believe some money is better than no money."

During the vote Trustee Henry "Hank" Dryoel hesitantly voted yes saying, "I just hope you can do what you can do." Trustee Karan "Cookie" Dean gave the single "No" vote.

Mr. Rayfeisen thanked the board saying, "We really want you to wake up every day and be proud of Fyre Lake Golf Club. We want to be a part of your community."

The board also approved renewing the liquor license for The Office Bar & Grill. They happily approved a new application submitted by upcoming business RJ's Pub & Grill. Owner Ronnie Erickson who recently purchased a closed pizza establishment in Sherrard said, "I wanna focus on food, I want it to be family friendly as well. I do want a stocked bar in there to offer anyone that wants an alcoholic beverage." She said she plans to open after 6-8 weeks of remodeling. They welcomed Ms. Erickson to Sherrard.

Larry Rhodenbaugh Chairman of the park committee gave the board an update on moving forward with the purchase of park equipment. He said he received notice from Bi-State that Sherrard might qualify for shared funding grants last Friday. Saturday the park committee decided to hold off on purchasing the equipment to see if they could get the funding.

Mr. Rhondenbaugh said, "She seemed to think we had a real good chance," speaking of Bi-State representative Patty Pearson. He said the two communities who applied ahead of Sherrard were not likely able to meet the shared cost requirement. "We already have about $30,000 set aside," he said.

The Park committee will move forward with pouring concrete and wiring, items not covered by the grant if approved.

In other business the board unanimously approved two requests from Sherrard High School. The first came from the academic award achievement committee for their annual donation. A Check for $150 was approved.

The second is to go toward Sherrard's prom. They discussed and agreed on the amount of $150. City Clerk Johnson read a letter received from the Junior class citing fundraiser shortfalls as the reason for the requested $1,000. The Village also donates $150 to post-prom yearly.

The board approved changing wording on the village's water/sewer ordinance which currently reads a $50 disconnect fee. Trustee Shawn Wyant said, "We just want the wording to match (what we do).

The wording now reads to reflect what residents are charged, $25 disconnect fee and a $25 reconnect. They added a $10 fee if the village arrives to turn off a residents water and they immediately pay in full. Ms. Wyant explained, "(It's) Now a $10 fee instead of a $25 fee because they really didn't shut them off."

In an effort to curb the amount of residents receiving shut-offs the board approved new hang tags to be placed on the door handles of those with delinquent accounts two days prior to shutting them off. A $2 fee will be accrued for this service. "We don't want to charge people another $25-50 for the hang tags because they are already delinquent on their account," said Trustee Kevin Iverson.

The Village first sends a delinquent notice to a resident who then has an additional 30 days, at the end of that time, the hang tag will go into effect two days prior to shut-off.