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Question Box: Bonded Debt?

posted Feb 2, 2013, 1:07 PM by Nick Camlin

Michael from Rock Island asks: Why is the debt in Rock Island County so high (as published in a local newspaper)

The newspaper story seemed to imply that the debt of County government was over $370 million, when actually that figure represents the debt of all public bodies (cities, villages, schools, special districts, etc.) in the County’s borders. The County’s share of public debt, including the Forest Preserve, is $32.2 million, or 10% of all debt in the County. Much of this debt is mortgage-like, in that bonds are sold to finance a large capital or infrastructure project, and the bonds are paid back over a period of several years. The County government debt is all related to the construction of the Justice Center/Jail & Hope Creek Care Nursing Home.