Park District Deficit

The construction and expected opening of the Fort Hill Activity Center left the Park District anticipating a budget deficit.

“When we started even conceptually talking about the activity center, we knew that in year one of any large facility like that, especially one that’s a revenue generator as our center will be, that in the first year of operations, when you open that center up, you’re going to be spending more, typically, than what you’re taking in,” said Sue Stanish, Director of Finance at the Naperville Park District.

And although the flagship facility calls for new expenses, its goal is to bring in future sources of revenue.

Next month the district will also propose a tax levy, which would be a $4-5 increase for the average homeowner. Park officials emphasize, however, that this is not related to the deficit.

“When we say deficit, based on what we’re talking about, based on the activity center, is about $111,000. We’ve planned for that, we saved for that, so in no way does the tax levy make up for, or you know, we’re not levying additional dollars because of that first year deficit. We have money set aside and we’re planning to use that money,” added Stanish.

Stanish explains that the district takes a small increase every year as the Consumer Price Index increases to fund their operations and part of their capital.

“So, a good stat that we like to talk about in the community is that in 2012, compared to what we’re asking for in ‘16, an average homeowner, we’re estimating, would pay $23 more in taxes. So an average homeowner is paying anywhere from $330 to $350 of taxes per year to the Naperville Park District. That’s to support, I could give you a laundry list of 140 parks 2,500 acres of trails, two golf courses, Centennial Beach, a whole bunch of other things that we are having to maintain,” said Stanish.

The Naperville Park District still maintains their AAA rating from Moody’s Investors Services.

Naperville News 17’s Rachel Pierson reports.

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