EFFINGHAM — The Effingham Park District Board held a public hearing this week to sell up to $550,000 in bonds for the financing of park facilities and other costly items, including pool repairs.
Only one person attended the public hearing, but no comments were made regarding the funding on Wednesday.
The lowest local interest rate they could obtain was 2.5 percent from Washington Savings Bank, which is routinely paid off each year.
In 2018, the board agreed to raise its annual general obligation by $50,000, with the bulk of the funds going toward the Richard E. Workman Sports & Wellness Complex.
Executive Director Jeff Althoff said of the $550,000 in financing, about $490,000 goes toward the debt certificate on the Workman sports complex.
Other expenses coming from that annual bond will go toward financing park facilities, repairs to the pool, replacement of fencing, repairs to the maintenance shed and any other park facility improvements and costs, he said.
“That leaves us with around $60,000 to do repairs to the pool yet and hopefully some things on the dog park,” said Althoff.
Leaks in the water mains at the Kluthe Memorial Pool at Evergreen Hollow Park caused the delay of its traditional opening over Memorial Day weekend. Several weeks worth of repair work pushed the opening to June 29, 2018.
Park Treasurer Anita Broom said the pool repairs stemming from that issue so far has cost $17,500, but more work is yet to come before the pool opens this season.
“They still have to repaint the pool yet. That cost was just making the repairs,” said Althoff. “There will also be a sealant applied after the painting is done.”
In other matters, the board:
• Heard about the proposed dog park that is being funded through public donations and a community group led by Recreation Director Hillary Kopplin. The project is still at the beginning stages, but it will include a large dog area and a small dog area, directly east of Harmony Playground. A group of volunteers have been helping with the design and features, and the next step is price checks and then fundraising.
• Heard from Patti Smith, general manager of the Workman Sports & Wellness Complex, who said January numbers are slightly up in regular memberships. Silver Sneakers memberships are also up. Healthy Contributions will be replacing Silver Sneakers for those members using AARP and United Healthcare, which has done away with the Silver Sneakers in Illinois. Healthy Contributions does the same thing by helping to subsidize the membership fees for qualifying members.
• Heard from Leah Ritter, director of guest experiences, the complex will be offering a Valentine's Day event involving “partner yoga.” Participating members are in Week 5 out of a 12-week challenge called Route 66 Challenge. Adult dodge ball co-ed league starts on Feb. 24 and will run until mid-April.
• Approved the purchase of a divider curtain from Putterman Athletics in Chicago for pickleball courts, at the cost of $7,930.
Dawn Schabbing can be reached at email@example.com or 217-347-7151, ext. 138