As you know, a group of citizens exercised their right to pass a petition to move the General Obliglation Bonds to the November Ballot as a referendum. They have every right to do this and they were successful. Their main concern was that the Village would default on repayment or not pass an abatement, resulting in repayment for the public works facility to show up on the property tax bill, as an additional expense to the taxpayer. Although, that was not our intention and the published notice was “boiler plate”, meaning it included the same language as the other General Obligation Bonds that the Village had passed for the water tower and the square, this time it was alarming to the community.
Now that we have had a week to speak with Bond Counsel and the Village Attorney, we believe there is win-win solution that will both fund the Public Works Facility Project AND eliminate the property tax connection that has caused concern.
Bond Counsel has recommended using Debt Certificate Bonds, instead of General Obligation Bonds. By doing so, the Village will use capital improvement funds, set aside for this project, to be sure the Bond amount is $2.3 Million, or slightly less, as required by Statutory Debt Limit, as planned. The difference is that the “ad valorem” property tax language is not required, abatement is not required. it can be passed by Ordinance, there is no requirement to “pledge” from specific funds for repayment AND there is no risk of additional expense to the property tax payers within the Village.
Of course, the Village is working with Bond Counsel and the Auditors to makes sure all things are in order and this solution it the best for all parties. These items should fall into place by early next week.
This means the Public Hearing for General Obligation Bonds will be CANCELLED for Monday, February 12, 2024 and pending everything looks good, an Ordinance for 1st Reading for Debt Certificates will be added to the Agenda. Once the Debt Certificate Ordinance is received, it will be posted for your review.