By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
The Quincy Park Board has approved a small increase in the Quincy Park District's tax levy for next year.
The board approved an operating tax levy Wednesday night that is less than one cent higher than the current rate. The levy of 39.7 cents per $100 assessed valuation will generate an additional $29,105, which would increase funding for the Park District's liability fund. The levy was 38.9 cents per $100 assessed valuation this year, which generated just over $2.2 million in revenue.
Commissioners also took their first look at the 2014 budget, which is projected to have $10.8 million in expenses. Formal action on the budget will be taken at the board's December meeting, with a public hearing on the budget scheduled for the same night.
The board held a public hearing at the start of its meeting Wednesday on its intent to sell $2.5 million in general obligation bonds. The board will self fund the first $800,000 of that total under the district's amended investment policy. The Quincy Park District joins other park districts in the state which are taking advantage of the ability to purchase their own municipal bonds. The board approved an interest rate of 1.1 percent, which will net an additional $2,667 for the eight-month life of the bonds.
"(This) gives taxpayers a break on the bond side and with us self-purchasing that bond, to invest in the bond is better than what we can get on other investments with the same funds," said Don Hilgenbrinck, director of business services. "We have the core reserves which are backed up by our reserve policy. Of all the various funds, we can invest those funds at a little bit higher interest rate. Ultimately, it will benefit the taxpayers. The income will be around $2,600 that we would not realize by not purchasing the bonds."
Among the items earmarked to be purchased with the bond money are a replacement of a large shelter at Moorman Park ($188,000), mowers and other miscellaneous equipment ($180,000) and a replacement porch for the Women's City Club ($110,000).
The other $1.7 million in bonds available to the Park District would be spent on the Bill Klingner Trail. However, issuance of those bonds is dependent on the Park District's ability to secure an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant. The Park District hopes to find out soon whether or not its request for $900,000 in funds has been approved. If it's approved, the Park District will extend the trail all the way to Fifth Street.
If it receives the grant, the Park District will purchase the bonds the traditional way through local banks, Board President John Frankenhoff said.
Editor's Note: Levy rate figures in this story have been corrected.