The Lemont Village Board Monday night approved a preliminary bond ordinance to finance a $21 million indoor/outdoor sports facility proposed for the village’s downtown area. Mayor Brian Reaves predicts ground will be broken on the Lemont Sports Complex sometime in March – and hopes the project will be completed by November.
“It’s a fast-track project,” Reaves said. “I want the facility to be ready to go for this fall’s indoor soccer.”
Located on 26.3 acres on the former Tri Central Marine Terminal property, the sports complex is planned for a parcel of land roughly bounded by the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and Industrial Park Drive, from the end of Stephen Street north of the post office and continuing west under the Lemont Street bridge and beyond.
The proposed development features 190,230 square-feet of outdoor turf – including four 360-by-225-foot fields for sports such as soccer, lacrosse and football.
The project’s planned 122,000 square-foot indoor facility includes four 185-by-90-foot areas for field sports, and convertible spaces to accommodate two 94-by-50-foot IHSA basketball courts, five 60-by-30-foot volleyball courts and one 120-by-60-foot tennis court. The indoor facility also features areas for concessions, multi-purpose rooms, party rooms and storage.
Mayor: Sports complex will help Lemont grow, prosper
At Monday night’s board meeting, Reaves prefaced his unveiling of the proposed sports complex with a look back over the past few years, when tough economic times forced cuts in village personnel, business closures and even home foreclosures.
But the mayor said the 50 new building permits issued by the village this year is an indication that economic prospects are improving – and he sees the new sports complex as a revenue generator that will help Lemont continue to grow.
Reaves projects the Lemont Sports Complex will bring 650,000 visitors to Lemont each year – attracting traveling teams and spectators from miles around.
“I traveled to Elgin and Crystal Lake for indoor volleyball this weekend,” Reaves said. “They have tournaments that go from 7 to 2 and 2 to 8 – with 320 11-year-olds screaming at one time – and that’s just one of nine in the Windy City Power League. The dollar figures are [great] that people pay for traveling sports.”
How will the village pay for the proposed new sports complex?
According to village documents, the sports complex project will be financed through the use of Alternative Revenue Bonds. The alternate revenue being pledged includes proceeds from operation of the facility, sales tax, TIF increment and income tax. A public hearing on the bonds will take place Feb. 11.
Reaves said that over the past 25 years, Lemont has utilized bonds to finance infrastructure projects such as new wells, water towers and a police station – and during that time, the village “has not asked for one dime extra.”
“We abate every year all the taxes on the bonds we have borrowed,” Reaves said.
The mayor encourages residents who have questions, comments or concerns about the sports complex or its financing to contact him, any of the village trustees or Village Administrator Ben Wehmeier. Click here for contact information.
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