• Tricia Babischkin

Well, So what's the deal with the Well?

On June 23, 2020, the board had a motion presented to them to authorize $20,000 for drilling a well for the irrigation of Red Tail Golf Course. However, despite listening to about 19 minutes of President Stephan reading essentially the same email from residents in support of the well (all of these emails extol the virtues of clean, fresh water being brought into the Turnberry Lakes to solve an algae overgrowth problem), I had to do a fair bit of research to figure out the need for this well and what problem it would solve.

Understanding Historic Context

Currently, the Turnberry Lakes are filled from the Kishwaukee River and then the irrigation of the golf course currently is accomplished by pulling water from the Turnberry Lakes. This costs Red Tail $500/year which is applied directly to SSA #8. In August of last year, Lake #2 was at a dangerously low level and the pulling of water from the lake to irrigate Red Tail was risking a fish kill. This was the cause of the decision to open a hydrant and fill Lake #2. When root cause analysis was completed, the cause of the lake being low was that the pump that Turnberry maintains had failed.


Proposed Solution


Note: The proposed solution is to drill a well to be used for irrigation of the golf course in drought conditions -- it is not to be used for refilling Lake #2. Also, it will not be used to replace the irrigation pull of water from Lake #2.


Issues:

  • The first issue is that the situation that occurred last August has happened exactly once in at least the past 20 years. Also, that situation wasn't because of the drought conditions, it was because the pump that Turnberry maintains wasn't maintained to pull water from the Kishawaukee into the lakes. So, one must ask -- why do we need this well in the first place?

  • The second issue is that no one asked what's the likelihood that we will hit water at 50 gallons per minute at 150'? Well, I've been told slim to none -- so the authorization for the $20K ($10K for the well drilling and $10K for the electric) is likely underquoted. But this board has proven that they are not above hiding overages inside the consent agenda, so we will likely never hear of the overage.

  • The third problem (again that no one asked) is where is this well going to go? They said in the meeting that it would be "near Loch Glen" but the well can't be within 25' of a body of water -- so, where exactly will it go? Will it need landscaping to be added and then maintained?

  • And finally, what budget will it come out of? The meeting said Red Tail's budget. The tradeoff being that Red Tail will no longer be paying SSA#8 for the use of the water -- that it will still be pulling from the lakes. And if it's coming from Red Tail -- where? Red Tail lost $130K last year.


Conclusion:

So naturally, the board reviewed all of this information and asked a lot of questions in the meeting --- maybe they even tabled their vote? Nope, not one single question was asked. No one challenged the numerous emails that Mr. Stephan read that called for "clean, fresh water" being brought into the Turnberry Lakes. This will not solve the algae problem the lakes have, this well won't add clean water to the lakes, this well won't even get used if the pump that supplies the lakes is maintained per the contract that the Village has with Turnberry.


I've heard a rumor that Pam Eddy has asked for this item to be put back on the agenda in the next meeting -- I'm waiting on the board packet to see what happens with that. One can hope that there will be some outrage over the misrepresentation of the goal of the well and the spending of $20K for something that will not be used or change the algae situation in the lakes.

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