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Park Board approves ordinance issuing $6.25 million in bonds

The Northbrook Park Board approved an ordinance providing for the issuance of $6.25 million in bonds at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

The vote allows the park district to borrow about $2 million over the course of a three-year debt extension. The ability to finance the bond is included in the 2015 levy, valued at $12,260,122, which was passed at a meeting in December 2015. Of that amount, there is money extended from a referendum passed in the early 2000s, that’s included as part of the bond.

Beginning with the new fiscal year that starts May 2016, officials will use the funds for future capital improvements to infrastructure, and facilities, among other items.

Mindy Munn, administration and finance director for the park district, said the issuance of the bond virtually comes at no risk to their operations.

“We had the referendum (from the early 2000s) paid off by November 2014,” she said. “The Northbrook Park District has been in a good position. We don’t have maturities that extend very far out. We repay very quickly.”

The terms and limits of the bond are yet to be determined, according to Munn.

Munn said with the ordinance approved, it will be about 4 weeks out before those details are ironed out further.

The park district has been financially responsible over the years and it shows, according to Munn.

“The Northbrook Park District is a 3AAA rated entity—that shows the strength of the entity,” she said. “We were the first park district to be rated 3AAA in the state of Illinois.

In 2007, Moody’s Investors Service, an international provider of rating, research, and risk analysis, recognized the park district and its financially soundness by granting them the accolade.

Officials are in the process of putting together a comprehensive master plan, outlining priorities, which will be finalized at a later date. Munn said the park district does not have any projects pending at this time.

Also at that meeting, the Board of Park Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the replacement of the HVAC system in the Sports Center.

It wasn’t until recently that the park district identified a problem with the rooftop unit and started making plans to fix it. Officials hope the vote will allow the Park District to better support parks programming.

The Sports Center hosts a number of programs including hockey, skating, and a number of summer camps.

It is yet to be determined how much the project will cost taxpayers, given the fact that officials need to hire a consultant and engineer to study the situation and finalize purchasing plans.

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