Park board approves construction contract during special meeting

The Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District Board met during special session on Monday. The board approved an underwriting firm and an AIA contract for its $14 million community center project in Rochelle. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Board also selects Mesirow Financial as underwriting firm

ROCHELLE — The Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District Board took two significant steps forward in its plan to build a new community center in the Hub City. The board approved both an underwriting firm and an AIA (The American Institute of Architects) contract with Ringland-Johnson Construction during special session at Spring Lake Marina on Monday.

Financial advisor Tom Chapman presented proposals from five underwriting firms to the park board Monday evening, with the board electing to approve Mesirow Financial as the underwriting firm for its bonds. Chapman sent out proposal requests after the park board’s regular meeting on April 15.

“I recommend adding Mesirow to our financing team,” Chapman said during Monday’s meeting. “We can really put our heads together so we’re able to put together the most appropriate plan… Mesirow has a little more experience in underwriting lower-rated credits, and I think Mesirow’s distribution capabilities, and the type of bonds we’d be going into the marketplace with… They’d do a better job.”

Park district attorney Paul Chadwick then discussed the AIA contract with Ringland-Johnson Construction, which was approved by the board along with a supplement that would allow the park board to pull out of a potential deal if construction costs, presented in a design-build amendment, exceed the park board’s financial limitations. Flagg-Rochelle voters elected in favor of the $14 million community center project in early April.

“The supplement addresses some of the concerns that I had going in,” Chadwick said. “It will give us some flexibility to add more oversight in the building process as it pertains to a final review of the design-build amendment that will be a part of this document. We would have the ability that, if we have issues with financing, we could get out of the deal.”

The next scheduled park board meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 20.

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