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$2.7 million in Lolla money factored into park district budget

  • 31st Street Harbor
31st Street Harbor (Todd Panagopoulos/ Chicago…)
December 12, 2012|By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco | RedEye

The Chicago Park District board of commissioners on Wednesday approved a $410.9 million budget, which doesn't raise property taxes for residents next year.

Program fees, room rentals and boater fee rates would stay flat while some permit fees will see an increase, particularly for large scale athletic events.

The 2013 budget factors in $2.7 million in revenue from Lollapalooza.

In the past, proceeds from the music fest went to the Parkways Foundation, which sponsored capital projects and programming that benefitted the park district, said Marta Juaniza, park district spokeswoman. In 2013, the funds will go directly to pay for the park district's operating expenses.

Soldier Field is another revenue source. About $29 million is expected to come to the park district from events such as February's Hockey Classic, a Taylor Swift concert in August, and the college football game featuring the Fighting Illini and the University of Washington Huskies in September.

The district plans to cut 32 full-time positions, beef up parking enforcement and establish a corporate sponsorship program that includes a digital billboard along the inbound Kennedy Expressway.

Boaters who live outside of Chicago and dock at 31st Street Harbor, which opened this past spring, will have a moratorium on the non-resident surcharge through the 2015 season. District officials intend to roll out a new marketing plan and target competing marinas to increase use of its harbors.

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