WOODSTOCK – Woodstock City Council members Tuesday agreed to help a local conference and retreat center refinance $5 million in loans at a lower interest rate.
The city can issue bonds on behalf of a nonprofit agency that it believes will have a positive economic impact on the city, City Attorney Richard Flood said.
Taxpayers have no obligation to pay anything if the agency – in this case Resurrection Retreat and Conference Center – does not pay off the loan.
“The city has no liability,” Flood confirmed.
Resurrection Center, an 86-acre retreat and conference center at 2710 S. Country Club Road, does not lie within Woodstock’s city limits, but it has a Woodstock address and is within the city’s 11⁄2-mile planning area, Mayor Brian Sager said.
“We don’t have a conference center. ... It’s nice to have a conference center located within that jurisdictional planning area. We believe that there are those who will take advantage of the fact that a conference being held at Resurrection is an opportunity for them to come to Woodstock and visit the Square and to spend money at the restaurants,” Sager said.
For example, the Resurrection Center provides 100 rooms for the annual Continental Amateur Baseball Association World Series games in McHenry County, Sager said.
Resurrection Center was founded in 1976 by the Congregation of the Resurrection, a community of Catholic priests and brothers, according to the center’s web site at www.resurrectioncenter.org. The center attracts nearly 9,000 visitors each year, its most recent newsletter stated.
This summer, Compass Ridge Conference Center opened on the site with meeting rooms and increasing the overnight lodging capacity to 200. The loan that the Resurrection Center will refinance using the city’s bonding authority originally was issued in 2003 to pay for the new conference center.
Sager said this was the first time that he could remember the city issuing bonds on behalf of a nonprofit agency.
City Council members voted, 7-0, to issue the bonds. Resurrection Center has agreed to pay the city about $12,500 to cover any administrative costs for issuing the bonds.