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updated: 5/27/2011 5:12 PM

Kane County forest preserve closing in on money, new land

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By mid-June, the Kane County Forest Preserve District will be two steps closer to acquiring its first piece of land with the $30 million taxpayers voted to give it in April.

The district will conduct the bond sale to obtain the referendum money on June 13. The bonds will be publicly bid at auction to get the most favorable rates. The district would then close on the bond issue June 29, which actually puts the money in district coffers.

This is only the fourth time in the district's history that it will sell bonds, and the first time it's done so in a hazardous economy. But District President John Hoscheit said he has no doubts the district will get a favorable interest rate.

"The numbers generally come in fairly aggressive and good for these bonds," Hoscheit said. "The only potential glitch is if some world event affected rates. That's something we always keep an eye on."

At the same time, the district will apply for a matching fund grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The hope is to pool that money with referendum cash -- stretching the dollars -- in a bid to buy land adjacent to the Meissner-Corron Forest Preserve in Campton Township.

The district is still in negotiations for that purchase and won't detail the exact location of the land or potential cost. The property is believed to be land once owned by the Glenwood School for Boys and Girls.

At about 300 acres, the purchase is expected to be the largest single piece of open space the district will acquire with the referendum money. The purchase would more than double the size of the Meissner-Corron Forest Preserve.

The district has a solid recent history of successfully bringing in grants. Just this week it netted $400,000 from the state to help build a new campground at Big Rock Forest Preserve.