By Stephanie Malench
In November of 2018, the voters of Collinsville, Maryville, and portions of Glen Carbon and Pontoon Beach overwhelmingly voted to dissolve the Collinsville Area Recreation District. The board that was in place at the time (Ron Jedda- president, Jeanne Lomax- vice president, Mark Achenbach- treasurer, and Aaron Wright, board member) will remain in place until the full debt is paid off.
All employees were taken off the payroll except for the executive director Doug Erhart and finance director Jill Rice who were kept on for two-four months after the election. Vicki Borror is providing the accounting services throughout the dissolution process and Craney Law Firm provides the legal guidance.
The Arlington Greens golf course (the only physical property left) was sold in July 2020 for $384,500 after taxes. All of the other parks including the aqua park were taken over by the municipality they were located in (Maryville or Collinsville).
The money from the sale of the golf course as well as the majority of the cash assets was applied to paying off the debt held by the former taxing body.
All legal records have been digitized and are on a secure server at Craney Law office in Edwardsville.
Lawsuits brought forth from the City of Collinsville and former city council woman Cheryl Brombolich have been dismissed “with prejudice”, but one, brought forth by William White about property at the entrance to the golf course.
The final legal action will be the filing of a declaratory judgement declaring CARD dissolving complete except for the bond payments. This will most likely occur after the decision of the White v. CARD case in the Madison County 3rd Circuit Court.
The remaining money that was in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund was returned and put toward paying down the debt. Social Security funds totaling $86,428.13were turned over to the Unit 10 School District’s Social Security Fund as required by law in July of 2019.
In the spring of 2022, it is expected that the Workman’s Compensation and Liability fund will be able to be applied to the debt.
The only cash left in the general fund is for payment of legal services, accounting, and the server. Any funds that remain after all debt is paid will be paid to Collinsville Unit 10 School District.
Achenbach says the current trajectory for paying off all of the debt will be 2030. So far, five years has been shaved off of the payments by making payments early, saving both principle and interest. The average payments made per year on the bond payment is $1.7 million. UMB Bank in Missouri is the paying agent for the bonds.
The board meetings are still open to the public on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Collinsville Activity Center, 10 Gateway Dr. Collinsville and can be found by going to the CARD website, www.collinsvillerec.com. The last meeting was held July 20.