Wauconda’s newly elected Mayor, Frank Bart, ran in part on a pledge to be more transparent. He has failed to live up to that pledge.
At the most recent village board meeting, he was asked by a local business owner about the status of the project to bring Lake Michigan water to the village. He said that he was still “assessing the situation” and when there was something to report, he would report it.
In the meantime, interest rates on bonds continue to rise. The village was able to lock in favorable rates a few months ago on the first $10 million of the $40 million in bonds approved by the voters last November. In that referendum, voters gave more than a 2 to 1 approval for borrowing up to $40 million to finance the project. Mayor Bart is jeopardizing this project with his delay in moving forward with tentative plans to partner with Volo, a delay in completing negotiations with the two potential sources for the water, and a delay in finalizing cost projections so that the remainder of the bonds can be sold. Even a 1 percent interest rate increase on a $30 million bond sale would be economically significant.
Yet he refuses to even discuss what progress is being made. And all indications are that the reason for this is that no progress is being made.
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