Madison County has assured those communities within the recently dissolved Collinsville Area Recreation District they will continue to provide grants for the management and upkeep of the parks.
Voters decided overwhelming Nov. 6 to dissolve the district, known as CARD, which was created in 1991 to operate as a special taxing district to fund parks and recreation facilities in Collinsville, Maryville, Glen Carbon and Pontoon Beach.
Dissolution required a super majority of 66 percent. Residents voted 80-20 to dissolve CARD and not expect lower taxes.
Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler announced that various facilities will receive grants under the Park Enhancement Program (PEP).
“Madison County will still award PEP grants to those areas,” Prenzler said in a press release. “It will just be redistributed differently.”
He said the amount will be parceled out depending on the size of the population in a particular municipality.
Estimates of distribution indicate that the City of Collinsville will receive $115,000, Maryville $35,000, Glen Carbon $2,500, Pontoon Beach $500, and Collinsville Township, $15,000.
The dissolution was welcomed by key campaigners in support of the vote in favor.
"Thank you citizens...for lowering taxes and helping our Parks," said Collinsville Township Trustee Derrick Cox. "Nearly impossible to get 80% to agree on anything."
CARD has built up more than $21 million in debt, mainly due to the issuing of bonds, including bonds for the Splash City water park in Collinsville and Arlington Greens golf course in Collinsville. It is estimated it will take more than 20 years for the debts to be paid off.
Meanwhile, the City of Collinsville is suing CARD over the amount left in its coffers. It wants an estimated $3 million to go to the parks rather than paying down the debt.