Seafari Springs in Hanover Park closing for 2019
The Seafari Springs Aquatic Center in Hanover Park will be closed for repairs this year, as the Hanover Park Park District moves ahead with an alternative plan for raising funds after voters rejected a tax increase in the November election.
Executive Director Bob O'Brien said information about the closure will be included in the district's spring brochure, which will go out about Feb. 10.
The district is working out arrangements for swim teams, those in swimming lessons and the general public to have access to pools in nearby towns, such as Bartlett, Hoffman Estates and Streamwood. Details will be included in the district's summer brochure, which will come out in a couple of months.
Use of the other pools will be at in-district prices or lower rates than typically charged out-of-district patrons, under informal practices park districts use to assist each other, O'Brien said.
Seafari Springs, which was built about 20 years ago, has limped along the last two seasons with occasional closures needed to make temporary fixes to sand filters and boilers used to keep the water about 82 degrees. That has hurt attendance, which has fallen from 22,000 to about 14,000 a season, said Lee Howard, the district's financial adviser.
"Each year, staff has only been able to Band-Aid the boilers," O'Brien said, adding that such measures were no longer feasible.
If the tax increase had passed, repairs could have been done this winter. Now, the district is planning instead to call existing pool bonds and reissue them at a lower interest rate and with a repayment time extended to eight years instead of four, Howard said.
That would raise $500,000 to replace the boilers and a couple of water features, fix a water leak and refurbish floors and lockers to improve the center's appearance in time for the 2020 season, O'Brien said.
The park district has no plans to hold another referendum on a tax increase, at least in the next year, O'Brien said.
The district, which hasn't increased its tax rate since it was founded 55 years ago, was seeking funds to make improvements to all its parks. All but one of its 17 playgrounds are at least 25 years old, and spare parts for some of the equipment are no longer available, resulting sometimes in its removal or closure.