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Cary Park District holds line in levy

Published: Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 11:03 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 11:19 p.m. CDT

CARY – The Cary Park District decided to hold the line on its property tax levy this year.

The district estimated it could have increased its levy by about $70,000.

Taxing bodies governed by the tax cap law can increase their levy by the increase in the consumer price index, which is 1.7 percent, or by 5 percent, whichever is less.

Park district commissioners last week however, chose not to increase its annual levy.

“We are always looking at the big picture,” Park board President Mike Renner said in a news release. “[Because] the capital project program of the district will be light in the coming year, the board decided that leaving these dollars with the taxpayers was the best approach this year.”

For the 2013-14 fiscal year, the district approved a levy of $3.83 million.

The park district this year has been working to save money.

In September, the park district refinanced about $7 million in bonds that were issued in 2003, 2004 and 2005 for park space acquisitions and development.

One of the bonds was used for the acquisition of Cary-Grove Park, one for the phase one development of Cary-Grove Park, and one for the purchase of Foxford Hills Golf Club.  

The bond to pay off the Cary-Grove Park purchase is set to mature in 2019. The bond for the development of the park is scheduled to mature at the end of 2022. The bond for the purchase of Foxford Hills is set to mature in 2021.            

Refinancing the bonds allowed the district to obtain lower interest rates and save about $760,000 over the life of the bonds, which have the same maturity dates, the district said.

“The last projection from our financial consultant was a savings of approximately $240,000 by refinancing,” Renner said. “We were both surprised and thrilled with this outcome.”

Park district officials said the savings will free up additional money in future years that can be reinvested in the district.

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