Since 2009, when Eagle Creek Resort was shuttered by court order due to mold contamination, residents and county officials have wondered what the fate of the area was going to be.
Last week Illinois Department of Resources took action against BMDD who is working to restore the resort.
In response to articles printed in area newspapers, including the Daily Union, about the local frustration about the delay in reopening Eagle Creek Resort, Dennis Ballinger, president of BMDD, contacted the Daily Union with a response, which has been edited for print space.
In November 2009, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) issued a request for proposals and BMDD Resorts Corporation of Decatur, run by Dennis Ballinger and his two sons, submitted a proposal. That proposal was accepted by the IDNR. A lease agreement was signed by the BMDD Resorts Corporation and Governor Pat Quinn.
"At the time of the agreement, there was an ongoing dispute where Marine Bank of Springfield and Community Banks of Shelby County had filed suit against the former owners and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources," Ballinger said. "The banks alleged rights to various real and personal property.
"Subsequently, IDNR was dismissed from the suit. The banks then amended the suit to replace IDNR with BMDD Resorts Corporation."
Ballinger said that the agreement with IDNR was amended to allow BMDD to use all furniture, fixtures and equipment located within the premises. Use is subject to determination of ownership by Illinois Courts.
In 2010, the Ballingers opened The National golf course at Eagle Creek. The course was repaired and altered and a golf storage barn was constructed. The Pro Shop was relocated to a temporary structure on an existing paved parking lot with plans to build a new shop closer to the first tee.
In 2012, after submitting plans for the Pro Shop to IDNR, the IDNR highlighted the problems with the lodge's existing sewer system. Estimated cost of replacing the system is $1 million and IDNR insisted that BMDD be made responsible for the cost of sewer system upgrade and repairs