Referendum Frequently Asked Questions
What benefits will I see if the referendum is approved?
Through involvement in master planning in 2018, and a series of studies, community surveys and discussion groups in 2019-2022, Prospect Heights Park District residents identified projects that were needed to benefit all park users, from youngest to oldest. These projects include:
- Construction of a new recreation center to replace Gary Morava Recreation Center
- Construction of a new aquatic facility to replace Lions Park Pool
- Installation of a new outdoor playground at Lions Park next to the recreation center, providing safe access for children and families
- Reconfigured and added tennis, pickleball and basketball courts
Specific benefits include*:
- New! Indoor suspended walking track
- New! Gymnasium with 2 full-size basketball courts
- New! 2 full-size fitness classrooms for additional group fitness and dance classes
- New! Outdoor exercise terrace for programs such as yoga and Jazzercize during good weather
- New! Family changing areas
- New! Tot slide and water play area
- New! 2 water slides
- New! Lazy river
- New! Pool entry from building exterior
- Added! Multipurpose rooms to accommodate additional programming and more participants
- Expanded! Parking lot with safer and more efficient flow of traffic
*Residents will be encouraged to provide continued feedback during design refinement.
What is the amount of the bond request and what is the breakdown across the projects?
The bond request is for no more than $30 million for up to 25 years. The approximate breakdown is as follows:
- Recreation Center – $18 million
- Lions Park Pool – $7 million
- Playground, sports courts, parking lot, site work – $5 million
If a referendum is approved, will my property taxes increase?
For a home assessed at $200,000, passage of parks bond referendum would result in a property tax increase of $25 per month for approximately 25 years. See the impact on your tax bill at the Prospect Heights Park District Tax Estimator.
The increase in tax implications will likely be offset when Park District resident families are able to enjoy their recreation and leisure time at the Prospect Heights Park District rather than pay non-resident fees at other facilities.
What is the timeframe for these projects?
It is estimated that it will take a total of 28-36 months from approval of a parks bond referendum for the projects to be complete. This timeline includes 10-12 months for the complete design process and 18-24 months for construction.
Why is the Park District pursuing a bond referendum on the November ballot?
Prospect Heights Park District residents have been clear about the needs they see in their community – including the replacement of the Gary Morava Recreation Center, and updates to Lions Pool, tennis courts, ballfields and other outdoor recreational spaces, as well as a need to continuing providing safe and welcoming recreational spaces for families, children, teens, adults and seniors.
Residents continuously indicated they preferred to replace rather than renovate the facilities, which requires significant capital funding.
A referendum would provide funds to improve recreation opportunities for a variety of users and patrons, address infrastructure needs in a timely manner and improve our ability to generate additional revenue with more appropriate and accessible facilities.
Are you pursuing other funding options?
In addition to asking the community for approval of a $30 million bond referendum, the Park District is also pursuing funding through grants and partnerships to support the capital renovations and replacements, but it is not sufficient to underwrite the entirety of the projects.
What happens if the parks referendum isn’t approved?
If Park District residents do not approve the referendum, the proposed capital projects will be deferred or not done at all. Under current plans, major capital improvements or replacements can only be done every 5-10 years depending upon project. The Park District will continue maintaining the facilities and park spaces to the best of their abilities.
What is the official language I will see when casting my vote?
When you cast your vote, you will see the following language: Shall the Prospect Heights Park District, Cook County, Illinois, improve, equip and maintain facilities at Lions Park, including replacing the recreation center and the outdoor swimming pool, reconfiguring tennis courts for tennis, pickleball and basketball and replacing the playground, improve, equip and maintain other parks and park facilities and issue its bonds to the amount of $30,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?
When can we vote on the referendum?
Prospect Heights Park District will be able to vote on the bond referendum on the November 8, 2022 ballot. Key voting dates are as follows:
- Last day to register to vote by online application: October 23, 2022
- Early voting begins: October 12, 2022
- Last day to request a mail-in ballot: November 3, 2022
- Election Day: November 8, 2022
You can register to vote, determine your polling place and learn more by visiting the Cook County Clerk’s Office at