Glencoe, News

Glencoe floats idea of $14.7 million referendum for beachfront, other upgrades

(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story implied improvements were only along the beachfront; however, the referendum would fund several projects that are detailed here.)

The Glencoe Park District is considering a bond referendum for the November ballot to fund significant improvements to its beachfront and other amenities.

But before making a decision on a $14.7 million ask, the park district is asking for public input.

Four community input opportunities are scheduled in the coming weeks: a virtual meeting from 7-8 p.m. on May 13; in-person gatherings from 10 a.m.-noon on May 18 at Takiff Center and 10-11 a.m. June 5 at Takiff Center; and an information table at a community concert from 5-7 p.m. June 28 at Kalk Park.

For the referendum to make the November ballot, the park district will need Park Board approval by this summer.

The park district plans to improve the swimming beach, Safran Beach House, Perlman Boating Beach, sun shelters, boardwalk and athletic fields. No improvements or timelines, however, are finalized.

A rejuvenated playground area at Glencoe Beach is among the proposed improvements.

A significant amount of park district debt — originating from the transformation of the Takiff Center in the early 2000s — will be resolved in 2025, according to park officials, and thus, new debt from the $14.7 million in bond sales would replace the burden on property tax bills, keeping them the same for residents.

John Cutrera, director of finance for the Glencoe Park District, said the district has two payments remaining on its Takiff Center debt, each one for approximately $1.03 million.

The expiration of the debt in 2025 will result in a reduction in property tax bills — about $261 annually for a $1 million home — Cutrera said; though, the park district is pitching the $14.7 million referendum to replace the expiring debt and keep property tax bills the same.

To get to this point, the park district analyzed its facilities this year to identify and prioritize worthwhile fixes. In a dedicated web page about the possible referendum, the park district lists some of the perceived benefits to the improvements, including: protecting and improving some of Glencoe’s most important public assets; creating healthier, safe, and more enjoyable experiences for residents; allowing for expanded and improved programming; enhancing ADA accessibility; improving building efficiency; and extending the number of months that certain district amenities can be enjoyed.

For more information about the funding proposal or the upcoming feedback sessions, visit the Glencoe Park District’s website.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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