A bill that would allow the Forest Park Park District to collect the additional revenue that voters approved on Feb. 2 to purchase the Roos property was passed overwhelmingly by the Illinois House of Representatives last month and is expected to be signed soon by Governor Pat Quinn.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 107 to 3 on April 23. The 29-line bill amends the park district code to allow the Forest Park park board to adopt a supplemental budget that would permit it to collect the increase in property taxes that voters approved early this year. The bill is necessary because when the park board adopted its budget and levy it did not take into account the referendum in an oversight and therefore could not legally collect the tax increase that voters approved.

By passing the referendum voters authorized the park district to collect an additional 12 cents for every $100 of assessed valuation.

But another development that occurred on the very same day that the state House of Representatives passed the bill has complicated the park district’s plan to acquire the 2.5 acre Roos property that sits just east of the Park in Forest Park on Harrison.

Rockford-based Amcore Bank was in the midst of foreclosing on a $15 million loan to Forest Park LLC the owners of the Roos property after developer Alex Troyanovsky abandoned a plan to build condominiums and town homes on the property.

But on April 23 the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seized troubled Amcore Bank and transferred its assets to Chicago-based Harris Bank. Last week the park board held a two hour closed session meeting to discuss the ramifications of that move, but emerged from the meeting tight lipped.

Cathleen McDermott, park board president, said she could not comment on the status of the plans to acquire the Roos property because of the advice of legal counsel.

Harris Bank, which was founded in 1907, is now owned by the BMO financial group which is the parent company of the Bank of Montreal. It has about $44 billion in assets and has 280 branches in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

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