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Local

Money matters addressed by park board members

Bonds, levy dealt with at Monday’s meeting

Elaine Russell
Executive director, Princeton Park District
Elaine Russell Executive director, Princeton Park District

PRINCETON — It takes money to run a park district, and Princeton Park District Board members acted on several fronts in that regard at Monday’s meeting.

After conducting a public hearing, the board approved the issuance of $817,200 in general obligation bonds, with the money to be used for park district expenses.

Bob Russell, park district attorney, said letters would be sent out to banks, and bids would be opened Nov. 4.

Russell said the bond principal is $790,000, and he expects an interest rate in the neighborhood of 3.75 percent, with the bonds to be paid off in 11 months at an estimated interest cost of $27,200.

The board also adopted a tentative 2019 real estate tax levy of $441,300, which is about 1.6 percent higher than the 2018 levy extension of $434,270.

Russell said the levy is based on an anticipated increase in the district’s equalized assessed value from $134.6 million to $137.3 million, which is up about 2 percent.

Final adoption of the tax levy will take place next month.

The board heard from Chris Blanford, representing members of the dog park advisory group. Blanford said the group meets every other week. He asked to be placed on the agenda for the first meeting in November, when members hope to present a plan for a proposed dog park.

Regarding a policy on ultralight aircraft, Executive Director Elaine Russell said the park district board members would be asked to adopt an ordinance in line with what the city of Princeton adopts.

Russell also said the park district will discontinue its end-of-season Pooch Paddle at Alexander Park Pool. She said there has been controversy in the Champaign area about the cleanliness of allowing dogs to swim in public pools at the end of the season.

Although the district’s state inspector sees nothing wrong with the event because chlorine would remove any bacteria the next season, Russell said the district decided to err on the side of caution and end the event.

Other news

• The board learned that Jerry Purdy, owner of Design Alliance, will attend the next meeting on Oct. 21 to discuss updates on the Metro Center roof replacement project and plans for rebidding it.

• Nick Davis, recreation and aquatics coordinator, reported there were 255 racers who participated in the Underground Railroad 5K, and that the event was a success.

• Davis also reported a Pumpkins in the Pool event is planned from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.

• In her report, Executive Director Russell stated for the Metro Center’s 30-year celebration, daily events were being planned weekdays for the week of Oct. 28.

• Russell also reported the district’s 2018 general obligation bond of $799,663 had been repaid.

• It was reported the Metro Center front desk staff continues to receive training on the new ReCPro software.

• Parks Superintendent Keith Scherer’s report indicated a contractor had been contacted to repair a sinkhole on the 40 acres area at Zearing Park where two pieces of 18-inch culvert had come apart. Scherer also reported the drinking fountain between the two shelters at Zearing Park had been repaired after it was vandalized.

• The board approved total checks for Sept. 15-30 in the amount of $21,026.

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