Referendum Update

March 29, 2017

In the November 2016 election, voters overwhelmingly approved the Bloomingdale Park District’s referendum request to sell bonds to fund repairs and improvements to the Springfield Park ball fields and wetlands, Oasis Water Park and Johnston Recreation Center. Since that time, the Park District has begun planning each of the projects.

Unfortunately, we are unable to begin the work due to a combination of events beyond our control, including a clerical error (giving 33 days of notice rather than 30) by the DuPage County Election Commission and a lawsuit (in which the Bloomingdale Park District is not named) based upon that error that prevents the District from issuing the approved bonds until the lawsuit is fully resolved.

The state legislature and Governor Rauner passed legislation to make it clear that three days extra notice was fine. However, until the lawsuit is completely over, we cannot move forward with selling the bonds to fund the projects.

Please be assured we are doing everything we can to move forward once this situation is resolved. We appreciate your support and your patience during this unfortunate situation.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Why hasn’t construction on the voter-approved repair and improvement projects started yet?

A:   Bloomingdale Park District wants to start work on the repairs and improvements to the Springfield Park ball fields and wetlands, The Oasis Water Park and the Johnston Recreation Center that voters overwhelmingly approved funding for (in the form of bonds) in the November election.

Unfortunately, we are unable to begin the work due to a combination of events beyond our control, including a clerical error by the DuPage County Election Commission and a lawsuit (in which the Bloomingdale Park District is not named) based upon that error that prevents the District from issuing the approved bonds until the lawsuit is fully resolved.



Q.  What was the clerical error that contributed to the lawsuit and delay in the release of the bonds? 

A.  Last fall, the DuPage County Election Commission was required to notify voters of the four referenda appearing on ballots in DuPage County no more than 30 days in advance of the election. Instead, the Commission erroneously notified the public of the upcoming referenda 33 days before Election Day.

The four referenda affected were:
  • Bloomingdale Park District
  • Helen M. Plum Memorial Public Library in Lombard
  • Salt Creek Elementary District 48 in Villa Park and Elmhurst
  • Hinsdale Elementary District 181

The state legislature and Governor Rauner passed legislation to make it clear that three days extra notice was fine. However, until the lawsuit is completely over, we cannot move forward with selling the bonds to fund the projects.

 

Q: What does the lawsuit have to do with the Bloomindale Park District bonds? 

A:  The lawsuit calls into question the sufficiency of the notice given by the Election Commission (in this case, there being too much notice). Until the technical objections are finally resolved, we cannot go to the financial markets to sell the bonds. Meanwhile, we are determined to do as much as we can to ensure we are ready to move forward once the situation is resolved. For example, we are working on obtaining permits, meeting with consultants and doing general project planning.

 

Q: Will I see the tax increase on this year’s tax bill?

A:  No. Due to the situation, the Bloomingdale Park District was not able to secure the bonds in time to be included in your next tax bill. 

 

Q: How quickly will the issue be resolved?

A:  There is no easy answer and we cannot determine an exact time frame. At this point, we are cautiously optimistic that it could be resolved within six months.

 

Q:  Is it possible that the projects won’t happen at all?

A:  It is possible but not probable. We are optimistic that the repairs and improvements will happen once the lawsuit is completely resolved. Although we cannot proceed until this happens and the bond money becomes available, we are determined to do as much as we can now to ensure we are ready to move forward once this situation is resolved. For example, we are working to obtain permits, meet with consultants and do general project planning. 

 

Q:  I want to see these projects happen. Is there anything I can do to help?

A:  Thank you for your support. Because this situation is not due to anything Bloomingdale Park District or the voters did, there is little any of us can do right now.