Lisle delays refinancing plan for sports complex debt
Lisle has delayed a plan to refinance debt the village incurred for construction of the Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex, but officials insist there are no problems.
Mayor Joseph Broda said attorneys handling the deal simply want to make sure "all the I's were dotted and the T's were crossed" before moving ahead.
Village trustees were expected to vote Monday to authorize the sale of $4.2 million in new bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates and eliminate a large balloon payment due in eight years. The debt will continue to be repaid with money generated from the village's hotel-motel tax.
Now Broda says the bond sale won't happen for at least two weeks. In the meantime, officials want to make sure "everything is aligned properly," Broda said.
For example, some questioned whether Lisle had the authority to refinance the debt after residents collected hundreds of signatures from registered voters to put the issue on the November ballot.
Village officials say the petition drive failed to get the required 1,078 signatures. But the group responsible for the petition was exploring whether the 895 signatures given to the village by a May 26 deadline were enough to force a referendum question anyway.
"Nothing has gone wrong," Broda said. "It (the delay) is just a precaution to make sure everything is right."
Broda said the refinancing eventually will happen because it will save "a tremendous amount of money" for the village.
The village borrowed $6.4 million in 2004 to pay for its share of the more than $11 million sports complex near the intersection of Yackley/College Road and Maple Avenue. The complex includes a 3,000-seat lighted football and soccer stadium with a nine-lane running track.
Lisle increased the hotel-motel tax from 3 percent to 5 percent to raise the money needed to repay the loan.
By refinancing the loan, the village is expected to get lower interest rates. It also will avoid a balloon payment of more than $2.3 million that's due when the existing bonds retire in 2024. If new bonds are issued, the payments would be extended to 2033.