Piles of sod and
sand next to heavy equipment ready to be used in the
reconstruction

of the Lac La Belle golf course.

Kelly Smith/Special to The
Freeman

LAC
LA BELLE — Village trustees cast a series of unanimous
votes this week to implement an agreement that allows
the Prestwick Group to rebuild the Lac La Belle golf
course and gives Prestwick an option to relocate its
corporate headquarters on 26 acres adjacent to the
course.


About two dozen residents of the village and neighboring
Town of Oconomowoc attended the Village Board meeting on
Wednesday.


Some appeared skeptical of village officials’ claims
that reconstruction of the golf course will help reduce
periodic flooding and control surface water runoff in
nearby neighborhoods and Lake Lac La Belle.

The
original golf course was built in 1896 and is believed
to be the second oldest in the state.


However, because of its location adjacent to a lake and
partially surrounded by large farms, the course has a
recent history of surface water runoff and flooding
issues.


Gary Perrault, who lives adjacent to the often flooded
15th hole, was concerned the reconstruction may worsen
flooding conditions.

He
said large amounts of dirt and landscaping materials
have been removed as part of the reconstruction and
flooding conditions will worsen if those materials are
not properly replaced.


John Leahy, one of Perrault’s neighbors, acknowledged
the drainage issues have existed for years and the
village is not obligated to correct them.


However, he pleaded: “Don’t make it worse.”








 Lac La Belle residents
Gary Perrault (left) and Bob Conley look over the latest
plans for the reconstruction of the Lac La Belle golf
course by the Prestwick Group. They were among two dozen
residents who attended a Wednesday Village Board
meeting. Some expressed concerns about how the new
construction might impact flooding and surface water
drainage in neighborhoods around the golf course.

Kelly Smith/Special to The
Freeman


Trustee Mark Willie said “one of the strongest points”
in the agreement between the village and Prestwick is
the village’s jurisdiction over surface water and flood
control measures on the golf course.

If
Prestwick fails to maintain those systems, the village
has the authority to make necessary repairs or
improvements, according to village officials.

The
Prestwick Group is a family-owned company headquartered
in Sussex that generates more than $200 million in
revenues annually using recycled materials to build
outdoor furnishings and equipment for corporate clients,
including prestigious golf courses and luxury resorts
around the world.

The
Village Board approved a certified survey map that
defines approximately 24 acres of land, often referred
to as “the farm,” that Prestwick has acquired from the
village directly west of the Pennsylvania Avenue
entrance to the course.


Prestwick intends to build the first four holes of the
new Club at Lac La Belle golf course on the land.


Prestwick purchased the course earlier this year and is
being permitted to rebuild it as part of the agreement
with the village.

 


Easements, clubhouse use

The
trustees also accepted easements from Prestwick on golf
course land that will be improved to improve surface
water drainage and reduce flooding.

The
company is granting the easements to the village as part
of the company’s compensation for acquiring the farm
land.

The
trustees also agreed to a five-year lease with Prestwick
allowing the village to use the golf course clubhouse,
rent free, for public meetings and storage of village
voting equipment.


Public meetings are often held at the clubhouse since
there is no village hall.

The
previous owners charged the village about $200 a month
to use the facility, according to village officials.


Questions were also raised about the proposed corporate
headquarters and the impact it might have on traffic on
the village roads.


According to the agreement, Prestwick has until April of
2019 to decide whether it wants to build the
headquarters.


Village Administrator George Stumpf told the board
Prestwick has not made a final decision about how or
when they will propose the corporate headquarters.


However, a public hearing will be required on a zoning
change that will be necessary for the project, according
to Stumpf.



<<EARLIER: Lac La Belle Village Board to meet in closed
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