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Elgin Community College issues last bonds from 2009 referendum

Updated: April 15, 2013 11:05AM

ELGIN — The Elgin Community College District 509 Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the sale of the last $48 million in bonds from its 2009 referendum.

That came after $38 million were sold earlier that day at a 3.04 percent interest rate through 2029, according to Raphaliata McKenzie of Speer Financial, the community college’s financial adviser for its debt.

That is “very good interest in the market today,” McKenzie said.

And it is common to issue bonds before a vote, said Sharon Konny, the college’s vice president for business and finance. Konny had presented the college’s debt plan to trustees in January and received “informal approval” for the sale, she said.

Some of the money from the last of the bonds will go toward the purchase of more than 41 acres adjacent to the Elgin Community College campus at 1700 Spartan Drive. Some also will go toward building the college’s planned Public Safety and Sustainability Center in Burlington, Konny said.

The rest will go to “smaller projects, but very important projects,” on the Elgin campus, she said. Those include parking lots and sidewalks, she added.

Trustees had approved buying the land adjacent to the campus from the city of Elgin for $8 million last month at a special meeting.

That land — along McLean Boulevard, southeast of Spartan Drive — had been the Spartan Meadows Golf Course, largely abandoned by the city not long after it opened the Highlands of Elgin in 2009, the college has said.

The decision to buy that property came not long after trustees approved the purchase of property in Burlington for the Public Safety and Sustainability Center, the last of the college’s Facilities Master Plan projects. Those projects also have included new buildings on campus, including the Health and Life Sciences Center and Renner Academic Library and Resources.

All have been funded by the $178 million total bond referendum approved by District 509 voters in April 2009.

The remaining $10 million in bonds will be sold through a negotiated sale with Edward Jones, Konny said. That likely will happen around March 27, she said, because the two sales must take place 15 days apart.

Trustee Bob Getz was absent from Monday’s regular board of trustees meeting.

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