Crystal Lake Park District considers selling $3.5M in debt bonds

Funding would be used for capital improvements

The Crystal Lake Park District Board meets in December.
The Crystal Lake Park District Board meets in December.

Crystal Lake Park District board members are considering selling
$3.5 million in bonds to fund new capital improvement projects.

Park District Executive Director Jason Herbster said that during his eight years at the district, board members have approved selling $1.5 million in general obligation park bonds every two years to fund a variety of projects.

“We are getting a loan and paying it back, and we’ve had other bonds for other things, but not this particular series of bonds,” Herbster said.

The district held a public hearing Thursday night to discuss using
$3.5 million to cover the next two cycles of selling bonds, he said.

“The reason we are doing this hearing for $3.5 million is to save the expense of having to go through the process twice,” Herbster said. “The hearing is good for three years, and we are saving taxpayers money by not having to do this twice.”

Herbster said it avoids having to pay for publishing public notices and paying for bond council and advisers to put paperwork together on two occasions.

“We bring in outside professionals to help us with that process,” Herbster said. “It’s just a formality of how we go through issuing debt.”

The bond funding will go toward capital projects, building maintenance improvements, playground replacements and park infrastructure upgrades.

“$1.5 million doesn’t go very far, so our list of improvements isn’t very long,” Herbster said.

Items on the list include building improvements – such as fixing the air conditioning and furnace – land improvements and repaving tennis court surfaces. Flood prevention projects also are planned at places such as Lippold Park near Route 176.

The turf on the baseball fields at Lippold Park also will be replaced, costing about $500,000.

Each playground lasts about 20 years, and they are listed in age priority for repairs, Herbster said.

Board members will vote May 17 whether to sell the bonds. Advisers will put the bonds out to bid before, and information will be presented to trustees, Herbster said.

If 3,010 people sign a petition by
May 14, the board will have to hold a referendum on the November ballot and seek voter approval.

The district’s annual budget is about $15 million, Herbster said.

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