The FAQ’s for the Park District Referendum will be updated throughout the next few months, so check back later for any new information.
On Tuesday, March 19, 2024, you will be asked to vote on a referendum to approve an $8 million bond issue for improvements to Lions Park Pool and other park capital improvements to Clarendon Hills Park District facilities. The main objective is to enhance and refurbish the 32-year-old community pool, which is soon to become inoperable and closing down. This is attributed to rising yearly capital maintenance and operational costs incurred by the Clarendon Hills Park District. A successful referendum would also allow the park district to construct: pickleball courts, playgrounds, pavilions, pathways, athletic field improvements and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible improvements.
This webpage provides factual bond referendum material to help educate residents about this request. Additionally, all Clarendon Hills households will receive an informational brochure in the mail by mid-February with referendum details. View the brochure here!
1) What is a bond referendum?
A referendum is a question presented to local voters on an election ballot which has a legal effect on the Park District’s authority to perform a specified activity or exercise a particular power. A bond is a form of loan used by State and local governments. In this case, the Park District is submitting a referendum to local voters to ask for permission to take a 15-year loan to pay for the cost of park improvement projects. The loan will be repaid with a special property tax collected only for the purpose of repaying the loan.
2) Why is the Park District going to a bond referendum?
The Park District’s current capital and operating budgets can no longer provide the dollars necessary to improve, maintain and operate the Lions Park Pool facility. Residents were asked to participate in a pool survey during the summer of 2023. The survey showed overwhelming support for the addition of new waterslides and splash pads for the pool facility. To improve, maintain and operate the Lions Park Pool facility, the Park District needs to pass a referendum to adequately fund these current and upcoming expenditures. The additional improvements proposed for other park facilities, including playground enhancements, new pickleball courts, new park pavilions and pathways, athletic field improvements and ADA accessible enhancements. The cost for the pool’s ongoing repairs have delayed the Park District’s ability to do many other capital projects in the parks.
3) How much is the referendum?
The Park District’s referendum question is for an $8 million bond issue for improvements to Lions Park Pool and other enhancements throughout the park system. A majority of the $8 million bond issue will go towards the improvements to Lions Park Pool.
4) How much are the referendum improvements to the Lions Park Pool compared to the referendum improvements in the parks?
The pie chart shows how the Park District’s $8 million dollar bond referendum would be split between pool facility and other park facility improvements. The details about both types of improvements are described in response to Question 5.
How will the referendum bond funding be used to improve Lions Park Pool?
The total cost for pool-related improvements is estimated to be $6,500,000. This includes a potential cost escalation of about 3-5% per year until construction starts. Cost escalation accounts for the increasing price of construction materials during the time a construction project takes place. The cost for all other referendum park improvement projects is estimated to be about $1,500,000. This puts the total cost of all referendum projects at $8,000,000.
This $6,500,000 estimate for improvements at Lions Park Pool includes the following items:
- Spray Pad – $1,500,000
- Lap/Leisure Pool Renovation – $1,250,000
- Water Slides – $1,250,000
- Soft Costs (Architectural/Engineering Compensation, Pool Furnishings, Soils Testing, Utility Fees and Contingencies) – $1,100,000
- Site Development – $800,000
- Family Changing Rooms – $600,000
5) What will the Park District do with the referendum funding?
The Park District’s obligation to the community is to improve all parks and facilities for the benefit of its residents. The $8 million in funding generated by this referendum would provide for:
- Lions Park Pool facility renovations, including new water slides, spray park, mechanical systems and new family changing and accessible toilets
- Playground enhancements at Blackhawk, Kruml and Steeves Parks
- New pickleball courts at Prospect Park
- New park pavilion and pathway at Hosek Park
- New park gazebos at Kruml Park and Park Avenue Park
- Athletic field improvements at Prospect Park
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible enhancements in all parks
6) How will the referendum question be worded on the March 19, 2024, ballot?
“Shall the Clarendon Hills Park District, DuPage County, Illinois, renovate the Lions Park Pool facility and install new waterslides, a spray park and new mechanical systems therein, construct pickleball courts and athletic field improvements at Prospect Park, renovate community playgrounds and facilities, construct accessibility improvements under the Americans with Disabilities Act, improve sites and issue its bonds to the amount of $8,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?”
7) How will this referendum affect my tax bill?
The ballot proposition calls for an $8 million bond issue for improvements to Lions Park Pool and other park capital improvements. That means a property owner with a home that has a “fair cash value” of $500,000 and a “net taxable value” equal to $166,667, as listed on your tax bill, would pay approximately 56¢ per day for the improvements ($203 per year) for fifteen years. If you would like to determine the estimated effect on your bill, take the “2022” Net Taxable Value from your Real Estate Tax Bill, multiply by 0.122 and then divide by 100. The resulting number is what your estimated tax bill increase would be.
8) What happens if the referendum does not pass?
The Clarendon Hills Park District would close the Lions Park Pool facility immediately and return it to the Clarendon Hills Lions Club.
9) What happens next?
The Park District’s referendum question will be on the March 19, 2024, election ballot. DuPage County may not release final election results for up to three weeks after Election Day to allow for absentee and late-arriving vote by mail results to be counted. Should voters approve the referendum, the Park District will work with its design professionals to finalize design and construction plans.
10) If the referendum succeeds, when will improvements take place?
Lions Park Pool construction is anticipated to take place during 2025; any impacts to the 2025 pool season will be communicated to residents in advance. Construction of the pool improvements is anticipated to take one construction season. For all other park system facility improvements, the Park District Board of Commissioners will provide the community with information on next steps and construction timelines once more details are available.
11) Will the pool season be returned to a full season of swimming if the improvements are made?
If the bond referendum is successful, the Park District is planning to return to a full season of swimming after construction is complete. The full swim season would last from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
12) Will the Swim Team be re-instated to the Lions Park Pool facility?
Yes, the Park District is currently employing Swim Team Coaches for the 2024 pool season. The plan is to reinstate the Swim Team annually if the referendum is successful.
13) Will the Park District have an Open House to answer resident questions?