Rumor Mill Active on Park District Purchase of Viking Dodge

Since publishing the response to my Freedom of Information request about whether Viking Dodge was in play with the Crystal Lake Park District, the grapevine has been active.

One person said the park district had agreed to purchase the property for $6.2 million.

If true, I wonder when the taxpaying public will be let in on the deal.

So, how would the park district pay for Viking Dodge, which has a newly constructed building?

There’s the $3 million pledged to a senior center by the Crystal Lake City Council when it hiked the city sales tax by 75%.

In his talk to Crystal Lake’s senior citizens, Mayor Aaron Shepley said he favored putting the $3 million into a park district community center, rather than in a free-standing building.

Cash could be obtained by bonding future proceeds from the 75% sale tax hike.

Where might the park district get additional funding?

Board members have said all along that they are willing to sell currently owned buildings, including the former savings & loan building that is now administrative offices. It also owns the parking lot between Ed Dean’s law office building and the health food store.

So, who would buy it?

Maybe the city, McHenry County Blog’s version of “Deep Throat” suggests.

You see the city wants to build a parking garage for Downtown Shoppers.

The city could cut a deal with both Dean and the park district and put a pretty fair sized parking deck there.

And where would the city get that money?

According to Stimulus Watch, Crystal Lake is asking for $11.5 million for that 416 car parking deck.

That might be worth $1 to 1.25 million, one real estate person suggested. The park district paid $500,000 for in in 1992.

That’s still not a bit over $6 million, but it’s getting closer.

And, the park district does have non-referendum bonding authority.

In 2008, the Crystal Lake Park District issued $376,880 General Obligation Limited Tax Park Bonds and $1,500,000 General Obligation Bonds (Alternate Revenue Source).

If all my assumptions fell into place and the park district could issue another $1.8 million without a referendum, that would put its available money at upwards of $6 million.

That would not remodel the building and put in a swimming pool, however.

That would require a referendum.

And where would Viking Dodge go?

The rumor mill says it would relocated to the old Conlon-Collins, more recently Extreme Ford location on Route 14.

If so, that pretty much blows the city council’s Tax Increment Financing concept of a retail center oriented toward Vulcan Lakes.

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