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Public hearing scheduled for proposed $50 million Capital Improvement Program bond issue

An aerial view of a forest preserve
(Photo by Chad Merda)

The Forest Preserve District of Will County will hold a public hearing on a proposed bond issue at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, June 6, at the Will County Office Building in Joliet.

Comments can be submitted online by emailing [email protected] or in person during the hearing. 

After the hearing, the Finance Committee will meet to vote on whether or not to recommend the bond issue to the full Board, which will vote on the proposal at its June 13 monthly meeting at the county building.  

The proposed $50 million bond issue will not result in a tax increase for the Forest Preserve portion of property tax bills. In fact, taxes will decrease even with the bond issue.

If approved, the bond issue would fund a 2025-2030 Capital Improvement Program that would allow the District to preserve more green space for future generations and add access to open areas so people can reap the physical and mental benefits of being in nature. 

The bond issue would provide $25 million for land preservation, $12 million for critical regional and local trail connections and the creation of new preserve access areas, and $13 million for habitat restoration, which would provide for clean water, clean air and increased biodiversity in Will County. 

As an example, here is how much the owner of a $300,000 home is paying in 2024 for the Forest Preserve District’s portion of their property tax bill currently and how much they would pay with or without the bond issue:

  • $116 currently. 
  • $95 if the $50 million bond issue is approved, an 18.5% decrease from current taxes paid.
  • $86 without the bond issue; $9 less annually than with the proposed bond issue.

The Forest Preserve’s portion of tax bills will drop even with the bond issue because previously issued bonds have been paid off.

If the bond issue is approved by the full Board, it would give the Board president and officers the ability to sell the bonds to fund the Capital Improvement Program, but they would only do so if market conditions are right and, in their opinion, the action is consistent with the best interests of the taxpayers.