Bloomingdale Residents Identify Springfield Park, Johnston Recreation Center and the Oasis Water Park as Priorities for Repair and Improvement

Park District plans referendum in November to take action on community priorities

BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. – August 31, 2016 – In opinion research conducted by the Bloomingdale Park District this summer, Bloomingdale residents identified three park district facilities as the highest priorities for repair and improvement: Springfield Park ballfields and wetlands, the Oasis Water Park and Johnston Recreation Center. 

If funding is approved, the repairs would include:
  • Improving the Springfield Park ballfields to prevent widespread flooding of fields and nearby paths. Restoring the shorelines of the Springfield Park wetlands to address non-native, invasive species and improve stormwater management.
  • Renovating the Johnston Recreation Center to include committed space for active older adult programming, improved early childhood/preschool space, and enhanced security throughout.
  • Updating recreation features at the Oasis Water Park such as the splash pad, lily pads, fence ropes, etc.
To accomplish these upgrades, the Park District board has passed a resolution to ask Park District residents to approve a referendum for $9.9 million in bonds over a 20-year period. If it passes, the referendum will allow the Park District to make necessary repairs and improvements to these three community-identified projects through a temporary tax increase on Bloomingdale homeowners. The approximate cost to the owner of a $246,500 home (the median Bloomingdale home value) would be $5.49 a month, or $65.82 per year. Those with homestead or senior exemptions will pay less than those without exemptions.

In addition to the funds sought by the referendum, the Park District would contribute $1 million, outside of its annual operation budget, to invest in these repairs and improvements. In anticipation that these projects would need to be addressed, the Park District has saved this money over the past decade through its disciplined, conservative approach to fiscal management. 

“The Park District’s outstanding record of fiscal management has been recognized by the National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA), the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services,” said Buzz Puccio, Park District board president. “The NRPA named us a gold medal agency for our excellence in long-range planning and fiscal resource management. We earned a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting by the GFOA for each of the past the past five years. And we maintain a AA bond rating with Standard & Poor’s. We are dedicated to protecting the investments we’ve made in the community, which is why we are seeking this funding to invest in our capital assets.” 

“As public servants, our goal is to listen to and support the needs of Bloomingdale residents,” said Bloomingdale Park District Executive Director Carrie Fullerton. “This list of repair and improvement projects reflects the top priorities of the community, which we identified through a deliberate, thorough process that included valuable input from community members.”

The Park District first identified several facilities in need of improvement during a 2010 needs assessment. Following a strategic planning process in 2013 that included a capital asset replacement plan, it was determined that the necessary repairs fell outside of the Park District’s annual operating budget. Working closely with District residents, the Park District prioritized the projects through community discussion groups and a district-wide survey conducted in July and August 2016. 

Visit the Park District's Referendum 2016 webpage for more information.
 
Posted August 29, 2016 at 8:38 AM