Portage Parks bond issue takes next step forward

2013-10-21T19:13:00Z 2013-10-21T20:03:37Z Portage Parks bond issue takes next step forwardJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | The Portage Park Board on Monday took its final step in approving a $3.5 million bond issue.

The next step is approval by the City Council, slated for Nov. 5, and the sale of the bonds, tentatively set for Dec. 5.

A public hearing on the issue was held Monday. However, no one from the public spoke for or against the proposal.

During the winter, said Superintendent Jenny Orsburn, park staff will first decide whether or not to hire a project manager and then move forward with plans and specifications for the various projects.

The bond issue was set at a maximum of $3.5 million with a maximum interest rate of 6 percent. It would be retired by Jan. 15, 2025.

Proceeds from the bonds will be used for improving eight parks along with purchasing equipment.

Facility improvements are planned for Woodland and Countryside parks.

Orsburn developed a list of approximately $1.5 million in improvements at Woodland Park; $1 million at Countryside and about $300,000 needed at Imagination Glen, Gilbert, Olson, Wolfe, Perry and Robert's parks. In addition about $30,000 in equipment is needed.

Many of the proposed improvements at Woodland Park would be at Sycamore Hall, including reconstructing an entrance on the north side of the building, updating the kitchen and updating the roof.

Improvements at Countryside would focus on the barn, bringing water, sewers, heating and air conditioning to the building so that it could be used as a rental space.

A present bond issue would be paid off at the end of 2014, so the new proposed issue would take its place and have no effect on taxpayers, according to officials.

Orsburn said work would likely start first at Countryside Park as staff work around rental obligations at Woodland Park.

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