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Joliet park board tax referendum vote Monday

Published: Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 11:56 p.m. CDT

JOLIET — The Joliet Park District’s top administrator said he will recommend moving forward with a tax referendum when the park board considers the matter Monday.

The board is scheduled to vote on whether to place a measure on the November ballot asking voters if they would be on board with a tax increase in exchange for park improvements.

Dominic Egizio, the district’s executive director, said Friday he’s “hopeful” board members will approve the measure. Egizio said the park district received mainly positive feedback with recent mail and phone surveys.

“My recommendation is to move forward,” Egizio said.

Funding for the entire $20.9 million package would require raising the district tax rate from about 37 cents to 46 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, an increase of about $21.60 a year on a home valued at $100,000.

The referendum calls for a multitude of park improvements, including health and safety work, re-forestry and tree planting, renovation of 21 parks, an east-side recreational center, and resurfacing of roads and trails in Pilcher Park.

The park district’s board meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at Presence Saint Joseph’s Inwood Athletic Club, 3000 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet.

Of the 1,000 residents surveyed by mail, 60 percent said they would be willing to support the park’s plan. A phone poll of 300 likely voters — conducted June 30 and July 1 by Public Opinion Strategies — showed that 58 percent likely would vote in favor of the tax measure.

One project that failed to receive support was the construction a second ice rink at Inwood Recreational Center. Twenty-one percent of those who responded to the mail survey said the rink should be eliminated from the proposal.

Egizio said Friday the elimination of the second ice rink in the plan would bring down the overall project costs to about $19.5 million.

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