Will This Election Day Finally Be Payday? Huntley Park Board Still Pushing for Voter Help Covering Cost of Retirement Fund

Article excerpt

Byline: Patrick Garmoe Daily Herald Staff Writer

You might call it the hardest $12.50 the Huntley Park District has tried to earn.

In 2000, voters rejected a tax-rate increase that would have allowed district employees to join the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.

The park district asked again in 2001 and 2002.

Residents still wouldn't pay.

In an effort to stay competitive, the district decided to go ahead and pay the money out of its own budget.

"The park board realized you can't function as a government unit, as a professional staff, without having a retirement fund," said Thom Palmer, the district's executive director.

But now they've decided to ask residents a fourth time for the cash, about $155,000 annually.

For a homeowner of a $250,000 home, the annual bill will be about $12.50.

These figures will fluctuate slightly on additional staff added to the rolls, and additional taxpayers to spread the tab among.

Palmer said he's not anticipating the need to construct any new buildings or add staff, now that several new facilities have been completed over the past few years.

If voters approved the measure, the $155,000 from the annual budget could instead pay for more programs and projects benefiting residents, Palmer said. …