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Niles Park District Borrows Funds For Projects, Says No Tax Increase

It wants to build a park with disabled access, renovate the ice rink and make other improvements. It's going for $11.4 million in bonds, but says residents' taxes will not be increased.

 

The Niles Park District is planning to issue $11.4 million in bonds, but says residents' property taxes will not go up. 

Of that amount, $6.4 million is a rollover bond, which means it's just being refinanced.

"It was for the purchase of " said Joe LoVerde, the park district's executive director, referring to 2003-2005 renovation and construction at Tam Tennis and Golf View Recreation Center, which are adjacent on Caldwell Avenue. "By rolling it over we'll save $700,000 in interest payments."

The remaining money will go toward improvements the board wants to make.

"We'll borrow $5 million for capital projects we've identified," LoVerde said.

Earlier: Niles Park District apponts new commissioner Sept. 18

Ray Czarnik, the board president, said that included purchasing two homes behind Oasis Fun Center and Jerry's Fruit and Garden market, which the district plans to eventually demolish in order to expand the Oasis water park, on Milwaukee Avenue, and build a park accessible to the disabled. He indicated it paid about $400,000 for the homes.

"Our plan is to build a handicapped playground," he said. "It will be the first one in the area."

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The district also wants to renovate the main indoor ice rink at its Iceland Skate Complex facility on Ballard Road and Cumberland. 

In addtion, the district wants to put a roof on the which is just outside the Iceland building. The roof would protect it from the elements and enable it to be used more days out of the year.

"Last year was hard because the sun was beating on the ice," he said, explaining the relatively warm winter made for mushy skating conditions. "A roof would keep sun and snow off the ice."

LoVerde said the $5 million the district wants to borrow is within borrowing limits, and the district will be able to pay off the bonds through property tax revenue collected and income generated by its programs, without asking taxpayers for additional funds via a referendum. 

He anticipated the district would borrow $3 million in 2013 and possibly borrow the remaining $2 million the following year.

"It doesn't make sense to borrow money before you need it," he said. "We believe that interest rates won't rush up."

The district's last annual report, issued at the end of 2011, showed it had $43.2 million in total assets, $16.4 million in liabilities and $26.8 million in total net assets.

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Bob G October 01, 2012 at 02:24 PM
This is excellent management. We have the best Park District around. I hope Mr Loverde runs for mayor. We need this type of thinking in Niles government.
George R. Van Geem October 01, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Just so everyone is aware, we already have that type of thinking in Niles government... Over the past five years, the Village Board has approved four refunding issues saving a total of 1.3 million dollars. And our largest capital program, the Stormwater Management Program, calls for a multi-year funding plan that incurs interest expense only as needed.

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