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Channahon will issue bonds for WESCOM's new building project

Will receive $100,000 administrative fee

Published: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 8:11 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 9:26 a.m. CDT

CHANNAHON — Pending approval by the Western Will County Communications Center, WESCOM, the village of Channahon will issue a series of general obligation bonds in the amount of $5 million to fund a new building for WESCOM.

The deal was approved by Channahon village trustees Monday night, along with a resolution for the loan agreement with the 9-1-1 call and dispatch center.

The center’s current facilities are located in the Plainfield Law Enforcement Building and are very cramped, according to WESCOM executive director Steve Rauter. The agency has already purchased 3.4 acres behind its current site and has plans ready to go for the larger, “bunker-like” brick building.

WESCOM initially wanted to issue the bonds itself, but was unsuccessful at getting a bond rating from Moody’s, so it asked Channahon, a member agency and a home-ruled community, to issue the bonds.

Village trustees were initially concerned that Channahon taxpayers would be liable for the $5 million if WESCOM’s finances were to go under, but village staff assured there are safety measures put in place for that security for the village.

WESCOM will pay Channahon an administrative fee of $100,000 for the service that Village President Joe Cook and Village Administrator Joe Pena said will go toward such capital purchases as communications equipment and radios for the police department and possibly some reimbursement for the time of the village finance director.

WESCOM is also paying Channahon’s legal fees for the transaction.

The approvals of the village board this week are contingent on WESCOM altering its bylaws and approving the agreements. Pena said WESCOM will save approximately $1.2 million in interest by using the bond money through Channahon, as opposed to taking out a private loan.

Channahon trustees this week also learned the state did not approve the village’s application for dollars from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, or ITEP. Channahon requested the money to construct a bike path that would connect the western areas of town with the eastern, crossing the I & M Canal and the DuPage River.

Channahon village trustee Scott McMillin voiced his displeasure during this week’s village board meeting that the dollars were not awarded to Channahon’s project, saying it was frustrating and disappointing.

Channahon’s Public Works Director Ed Dolezal said the village could apply again for the next round of the program, but McMillin said he had hoped the bike path project could get off the ground sooner. The preliminary design of the path paralleling Bridge Street has already been completed.

McMillin said, as it is now, it’s difficult for kids to get from such neighborhoods as Hunter’s Crossing to the library, baseball fields, and the park district’s pool and other facilities. Their options, he said, involve riding their bikes or walking along busy U.S. 6 or Bridge Street, which doesn’t have a shoulder.

The Channahon village board this week also:

• Heard a presentation by new Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan.

• Approved entering into an agreement with Channahon Township for maintenance on a portion of Amoco Road.

• Approved the purchase and installation of a well motor and equipment from Well Water Solutions, waiving bidding requirements, for an amount not to exceed $91,458 for the motor and installation and $25,988 for supplemental charges.

Trustee Jerry Papesh was absent from Monday’s meeting.

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