IAPD Participates in Water Safety Press Conference
(updated May 20, 2015)
IAPD President/CEO Peter Murphy participated in a press conference Wednesday morning with representatives of the American Red Cross, Illinois
Department of Children and Family Services and the Illinois Department
of Natural Resources to raise awareness about water safety.
"Park districts and recreation agencies are often the
heart of their communities, a place for gathering and bonding, but they also
fill a critical need – education. Education is the key to combating this
important issue, and we are honored to be a part of this team to share the
important message about learning to swim and drowning prevention.” - Peter Murphy
LEGISLATION IMPOSING PERMANENT PROPERTY TAX FREEZE ON HOUSE FLOOR
(updated May 13, 2015)
Four different bills that would permanently freeze local property taxes passed out of the House Revenue Committee and are now on 2nd Reading in the House.
HB 695 (Franks, J.) and HB 677 (Bradley, J.) are identical and would freeze property taxes for all Illinois taxing disricts, including those that are not currently subject to PTELL. HB 696 (Franks, J.) and HB 699 (Bradley, J.) would also freeze property taxes statewide but would exclude home rule units of government. The only mechanism for increasing the extension limitation under each of these bills would be by referendum.
Each of these bills would also freeze the debt service extension base.
These bills would reduce available property tax revenues for all IAPD member agencies and could be called for a vote soon.
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE AND URGE HIM OR HER TO VOTE NO ON HOUSE BILLS 677, 695, 696 AND 699. Click here for talking points.
of IAPD’s Parks Day at the Capitol, Legislative Reception and Legislative
Conference Available Now
(updated May 8, 2015)
representatives of Illinois park districts, forest preserves,
recreation and special recreation agencies attended IAPD's legislative
events! Most attendees met with their legislators and shared the
message that park, recreation and conservation agencies have the power
create jobs, grow the economy, impact health and wellness and create a
quality of life for the citizens of Illinois.
View photos on our Photosharing Site.
IAPD's Parks Day at the Capitol, Legislative Reception and Legislative Conference Emphasize the Power of Park Districts and Forest Preserves
(posted April 29, 2015)
Nearly 400 representatives of Illinois park
districts, forest preserves, conservation, recreation and special recreation
agencies attended IAPD's Parks Day at the Capitol, Legislative Reception
and Conference this week!
All of the events were a tremendous
success! Most attendees met with their legislators and shared the message that park, recreation and conservation agencies
have the power to create jobs, grow the economy, impact health and wellness and
create a better quality of life for the citizens of Illinois.
Watch this great video featuring highlights from Parks Day at the Capitol. Photos will be available soon!
Save Funding for Parks! Video Testimonials from the IAPD Membership
(updated April 22, 2015)
The Carbondale Park District was on track to complete a state-of-the-art outdoor municipal swimming project in May. The project was 75% complete, but construction was forced to stop by Governor Bruce Rauner. Despite promised state funding and nearly a million dollars of community contributions, there is a real threat that residents will not get to swim here this summer.
Watch this heart-felt video featuring representatives of the Carbondale Park District and the community.
Jason Brockschmidt, Director of Parks and Recreation for the Beardstown Community Park District, talks about how the community's frozen PARC grant is affecting plans to build a much needed swimming pool for the residents of his community.
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-14, and the swimming pool would provide a safe place to teach swimming lessons to the youth of the community, which sits on the Illinois River.
John Curran, Director of Parks & Recreation for the Tinley Park-Park District shares a video explaining the positive impact parks have on the health and wellness of their residents.
Multiple projects conducted by agencies within the South Suburban Park & Recreation Professional Association are featured, detailing the valuable economic impact they have on their communities.
Listen to Larry Reiner, Executive Director of the Butterfield Park District, talk about how the governor's grant freeze is affecting the park district's plans to purchase a critical parcel of property and enhance parks throughout the district. These Butterfield Park District plans were approved by referendum with 70% of the vote.
Watch this compelling video of Shane Hamilton, South Elgin Parks and
Recreation Supervisor, talking about the future of SEBA Park - a special
needs friendly park three years in the making. Construction has been
halted due to the State's suspension of funds. #saveOSLAD
Woodridge Park District Executive Director Mike Adams talks about the Athletic Recreation Center that would create jobs, improve the health and wellness of the community, revitalize the neighborhood, serve the indoor space needs for their community and so much more. This project has been halted and is now in jeopardy due to the State's suspension of funds.
Listen to Carol Stream Park District Executive Director Jim Reuter talk about how a park project in South Elgin will have devastating effects to the community and its citizens if it can't be completed.
members are sharing video testimony of what the suspension of State
grants means to their agencies, communities and citizens. To share your
story, contact Bobbie Jo Hill.
Statewide Reaction to State Grant Suspension - Trending Stories
(updated April 7, 2015)
We are monitoring media stories throughout the state regarding the suspension of all State grants, including capital grant programs such as OSLAD, PARC and Public Museum Grants. These suspensions even cover construction projects currently in progress.
Please take a moment to review some of the trending stories:
Westmont Park District Could Miss Out on $3.2 Million in State Grants
Diane Main, president of the district's Board of Commissioners, isn't giving up hope the state may allow the grants. "I think there's a lot of hope out there. I'm trying to be optimistic that it's not a dead issue."
Loss of Grants Hurt Park Projects (Chicago Tribune)
"To date, the district received bids for six of the construction trades,
which came in approximately half a million dollars under budget. These cost savings are in jeopardy if the suspension continues
past 90 days from when bids were received." - Mike Adams, Executive Director of the Woodridge Park District
State Grant Suspensions Put Park Projects on Hold (Daily Southtown)
"The state's suspension of grants not only means a loss of jobs but a loss of fitness and recreational amenities - activities that promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce health care costs."
State Grant Cuts May Put Many Aurora Area Projects on Hold (Chicago Tribune)
suspension not only threatens jobs that are helping to grow Illinois'
economy, it creates exposure to local taxpayers for existing contractual
obligations and project costs. The construction delays will also end up
costing local taxpayers time and money." - Peter Murphy, IAPD President/CEO
Funding for Alton Parks in Jeopardy (5 KSDK.com)
"Governor Rauner touts these savings, say like, to the tune of $748,000
in Alton. It's not really a true savings. I don't see how
the governor believes jeopardizing infrastructure, quality of life
issues, and having an adverse economic impact on municipalities is going
to somehow fix the state." - Alton Mayor Brant Walker
Status of Park Projects Uncertain After Rauner Grant Freeze (Chicago Tribune) - VIDEO INCLUDED
"State grants like the Open Spaces ones provide up to 50 percent of
the cost of a project. Once complete, the entire state
receives the benefits of wellness and after-school programs from such
facilities. It's twice the return on its investment." - Jason Anselment, IAPD Legal/Legislative Counsel
State's Grant Freeze Leaves Glen Ellyn Projects in Doubt (mySuburbanLife.com)
"Part of what this kind of thing does is it negates two years of work we've done on this project. It's not like we just started planning on this last week." - Larry Reiner, Executive Director of the Butterfield Park District
State's Park Grants for East St. Louis, Edwardsville Put on Hold (BND.com)
"The tennis courts are more than 50 years old and can’t be used, except for picnics. Without the outside money, the East St. Louis Park District can’t carry out the project. We rely pretty heavily on these grants. We get little money (from) real estate taxes. "If we don’t get this grant, we can’t do this project, period,” - Irma Golliday, Director of the East St. Louis Park District
Buffalo Grove Park Upgrades on Hold After State Suspends Grants (Daily Herald)
" ... to say we cannot finish a project that we were awarded in 2013 and began
construction on last year is extremely detrimental to our community." - Ryan Risinger, Executive Director of the Buffalo Grove Park District
DuPage Park Districts 'Scrambling' With State Grants Suspended (Daily Herald)
"This property needs to be preserved ... when promises are made, promises need to be kept." - Larry Reiner, Executive Director of the Butterfield Park District
"We've done a lot of sharing with our community about the changes that are going to happen at this park and the community's excited. I was heartbroken for Bloomingdale because I think the kids and the families and the people that live around here would love to have that park revitalized," - Carrie Fullerton, Executive Director of the Bloomingdale Park District
Funding Cuts Stall Park for Children With Special Needs (WGN TV) - VIDEO INCLUDED
understand the financial burdens that we have within the state. I get
that. But, I also understand the burdens that our families with special
needs have on a daily basis, and those touch me. Those are dear to my
heart. We need to find a way to make those families enjoy this and give
them a few minutes without a challenge" - Village of South Elgin representative.
Duncan: Give the Parks Back Their Money (The Southern Illinoisan)
"I thought there was absolutely no way Bruce Rauner would actually stop projects that are meant to enhance the quality of life throughout the state." - Dustin Duncan, Business Writer for The Southern Illinoisan
Rauner Freeze Jeopardizes Local Parks Projects (The News-Gazette)
"We're hoping this is just a temporary suspension ... I desperately hope that we don't have to put all those artifacts back in now." - Mary Ellen Wuellner, Deputy Executive Director of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District
State Grant Freeze Affects Will County Area Park Projects (The Herald-News)
A $536,141 renovation project for Walker Country Estates Park is almost complete. "It's about 90 percent done," said Greg Lewis, Executive Director of the New Lenox Community Park District, adding he wanted the park ready for the late spring. "The splash pad was the only part left ... for this to happen, it's not fair."
Emanuel, Parks Supporters Protest Loss of Funds (WGN TV)
" ... Chicago stands to lose $28 million earmarked for improvements to 25 parks."
Chicago Parks, Including Bloomingdale Trail Walsh Park, Hit By State Cuts (DNAinfo.com)
"Gov. Rauner's decision to suspend grants for new parks across Chicago and the rest of the state will hurt every child who wants to swing on a swing set or play on the monkey bars." - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
State Cuts Halt Construction of Playground for Kids with Disabilities (Chicago Tribune)
"What it does to the contractor is one thing, but to the children that will use the park. The real travesty is it's affecting the children." - Nick Sigalos of Sigalos & Associates Ltd., construction manager for SEBA Park in South Elgin
Emanuel Demands That Rauner Reverse Freeze That Threatens $28 Million in Projects at Chicago Parks (Chicago Sun Times)
"This is how you build a strong city, strong state. The fact is, parks and playgrounds are where our communities come together and where they're strengthened." - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Gov. Bruce Rauner Suspends Grants to Park Districts, Including Rockford Sports Tourism Project (Rockford Register Star)
"The state has to recognize that they're asking us to stop in the middle of a project and part of the funding has already been spent in bids, and work has already been completed. These are not expenses, these are investments in the city and the state's future." - Tim Dimke, Executive Director, Rockford Park District
Future of Mount Pulaski Pool Uncertain Due to State Grant Suspensions (State Journal-Register)
"Public health standards have changed, ADA requirements have changed, and we can't meet those basic requirements anymore. If we don't do the project, we don't have the pool. That's all there is to it." - Stuart Erlenbush, Mount Pulaski Park District Commissioner
Suspension of Funding Shuts Down Work on Carbondale Splash Park (The Southern Illinoisan)
"He has really got us out on a limb. I don't know if he realizes what a mess he is creating for local governments across the state." - Marion Mayor Bob Butler
Rauner Suspends Grants for Decatur Park District (herald-review.com)
"The impact this has, not only in the community but contractors and everyone involved, there's a lot of people involved who are hurt by this." - Rodney Buhr, Decatur Park District CFO
Local Park Projects Feel the Sting of Rauner's Freeze (Chicago Tribune) - VIDEO INCLUDED
"Those funds were earmarked specifically for these projects. The grants also have a component that requires the local agency to pay a good portion of it. So these projects aren't completely funded through the grants." - Tom Mammoser, Dundee Township Park District Executive Director
Emanuel Attacks Rauner Over Parks Funding Cut (Chicago Sun Times)
"You cannot balance the state’s budget on the backs of our
neighborhoods, our families and our children. Governor
Rauner, do not balance your budget on the backs of the children of
Chicago — keep your hands off their dreams.” - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Emanuel, Allies Rally Against Rauner Chicago Park Money Freeze (The Illinois Observer)
"I will not stand by and let these children be harmed in the name of
fiscal policy, and I join my community in demanding that this promised
funding be restored,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).
Pool Money Frozen (WAND TV) - VIDEO
Watch footage from a WAND TV interview with Mt. Pulaski Park Commissioner Stuart Erlenbush
Emanuel Calls on Rauner to Reverse Cuts on Park Funding (WGN-TV.com)
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling on Governor Bruce Rauner to reverse an
"immediate freeze” on state funding of dozens of parks across the city."
Rauner Indefinitely Suspends State Grants for Park Projects (FOX 2 St. Louis)
"Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked in a Thursday news release that Rauner
restore the parks grants. The release says Chicago would lose out on $28
million in funding for 27 projects at city parks."
Rauner Freezes Park District OSLAD Grant (Forest Park Review)
"I am hoping that when the Governor sees the OSLAD grants are an
investment in our communities, which indeed help the state, he will
release the funds." - Larry Piekarz, Executive Director of the Park District of Forest Park
Open Letters to the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner
(posted March 16)
IAPD is collecting letters sent to the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Rauner, urging them to save funding for parks and lift the suspension of State grants for critical projects. Send copies of your letters to Peter Murphy, IAPD President/CEO.
Please review this sampling of compelling letters.
Berwyn Park District
Bloomingdale Park District
Buffalo Grove Park District
Butterfield Park District
Dundee Township Park District
Forest Preserve District of Will County
Golf Maine Park District
Hampshire Township Park District
Hoffman Estates Park District
Homewood-Flossmoor Park District
Macomb Park District
Memorial Park District
Mokena Community Park District
Park District of Highland Park
Rockford Park District
Roselle Park District (correspondence to legislators)
Roselle Park District (correspondence to governor)
Schaumburg Park District
Skokie Park District
Sycamore Park District
Woodridge Park District
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
(posted March 20,
agencies are sharing photos of their ongoing OSLAD grant. These photos
represent projects that are prescriptions for many of the State's ailments.
- These agencies offer facilities
and programs that provide affordable afterschool and summer school
programs for working families;
- They provide children with
constructive activities to aid in their learning and development;
- Afterschool and summer programs
have a greater impact in reducing youth crime and violence than hiring
more police officers - long term, these programs help reduce the demand
for costly correctional facilities;
- Convenient and affordable access
to fitness facilities promotes health and wellness and helps reduce
Medicaid and other physical and mental health care expenses that are major
cost drivers in the State budget
See more pictures and project descriptions!
1. Alleghany Park in
Grayslake is a 40-acre sports complex with 4 soccer fields, 5 baseball/softball
fields, bathroom/concessions/storage building, manmade lake for managing storm
water and irrigating the fields, and two tennis courts.
Investments in Local Construction Projects Suspended
(posted March 12, 2015)
We have learned that every State grant recipient is receiving a letter indefinitely suspending all State grants until further notice. This suspension includes capital grant programs such as OSLAD, PARC, and Public Museum Grants. These suspensions even cover construction projects that are currently in progress.
With construction season upon us, this decision could not come at a worse time. The suspension not only threatens jobs that are helping to grow Illinois’ economy, it creates exposure to local taxpayers for existing contractual obligations and project costs. The construction delays will also end up costing local taxpayers time and money.
Click here to learn more and for specific actions items.
Urgent Action Needed to Protect OSLAD
(updated March 9, 2015)
SB 274, which would allow the Governor to sweep more than $37 million in dedicated OSLAD funds, is on 3rd reading in the Senate and could be called for a vote at any time when the General Assembly returns this week. The OSLAD funds included in this funds sweep are not "surplus funds.” They are needed to pay for both FY15 grants and for reimbursement of existing projects that are not yet entirely completed.
CONTACT YOUR SENATORS TODAY AND URGE THEM TO OPPOSE SB 274 UNTIL THE OSLAD SWEEP IS REMOVED.
Click here for additional information and important talking points.
Parks & Forest Preserves Bring Value to Our Communities
(posted November 6, 2014)
Read all about the highlights of our latest research study, conducted by Market Probe in 2013. The overall message is clear: the citizens of Illinois know that park districts and forest preserves have significant impact on the well-being of a community and on the state of Illinois.
Download the brochure.
Order printed copies of the brochure for just a $1 each - includes shipping!
Illinois Park District Law Handbook - NEW EDITION!
(updated November 20, 2014)
This fully updated 7th edition of the Illinois Park District Law Handbook consolidates this body of law into a single user-friendly volume that explains the complex laws and codes that govern local park districts. Thousands of bills have been signed into law since IAPD published the 6th edition in 2010.
Order Your Copy Today!