Park District Finances & Financing


Meeting minutes for the September 10, 2009 Park Board “study session” included a presentation of the Independent Auditor’s Report of the FY 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

[Brian LeFevre of Sikich, LLP] reported that both the District’s Golf Course and Hopkins enterprise funds were in a negative working capital position requiring them to borrow cash from other District funds.

LeFevre noted that these deficits could affect the wellness of other funds.

Commissioner Mason inquired how the losses compared to last year. LeFevre stated that they were less than last year, but recommended that the District review and measure the full operating cost of the enterprise funds to manage expenses.

LeFevre explained that due to the decline in market value, additional contributions will be required of the District to the IMRF Fund in the next few years. In FY 2009, funds were transferred to the IMRF Fund from the General Fund to place it back in balance. [Emphasis added.]

A bit later in the program, Aquatics Center financing options were discussed.

In option one the District could acquire an alternate bond of $14,250,000 without going to referendum. Small stated that the District is limited in the amount of debt service it can levy. Small stated that the margin column indicates the funds that would be available for capital projects after payment of the bond each year. The margins are so small that the District would have to restructure its capital projects and would find itself in a difficult situation if major repairs were needed throughout the District.

In option two, if the referendum was successful, the District would issue a $15,000,000 in bonds for 20 years. The preliminary debt service schedule shows a tax impact of approximately $100 on a $200,000 home for a total of 20 years. Small stated that the EAV growth was estimated at 4.25% for 2010. The Preliminary Debt Service schedule was prepared by Bernardi Securities…

Option 3 showed a preliminary debt service schedule for a “Build America” Bond. The “Build America” Bond is a federal program intended to assist municipalities. The District would pay the owners of the bond a higher interest rate, but would then be rebated 35% of the interest cost by the Federal government.

Director Capek stated that Option One would lock the District’s finances for more than 20 years and not allow for any capital projects. The District initiated a five year capital plan to repair and replace facilities and equipment throughout the District. [Emphases added.]

During the October 8, 2009 special meeting, all commissioners were present and voted unanimously to pursue option 2 by placing the proposition to issue general obligation park bonds on the February 2 ballot.