KVPD

Kankakee Valley Park District meeting on Monday.

Kankakee School District 111 is considering bailing out the Kankakee Valley Park District.

On Thursday, the school board will decide during a special meeting whether to lend the park district the $900,000 it needs to hire back 10 of 16 employees who were laid off in late December.

Though it has not made a formal offer yet, Kankakee School Superintendent Genevra Walters said the school district's package will come with a lower interest rate than the 9 percent offered by an out-of-state financing firm, First Southern Securities, of Georgia, which is offering to buy park district bonds.

"The situation with the park district affects the activities of our youth," Walters said. "We serve the same kids and families, so we want to offer a fair rate that doesn't impact the park district and taxpayers as much."

The park board approved First Southern Securities' offer on Monday and is scheduled to finalize the deal tonight. That plan might be scrapped altogether now that the school district is stepping in.

Park board president J.J. Hollis said Tuesday afternoon that the board will have to take a leap of faith that the school's offer will come through.

"It looks better that people within the community are trying to help the community," he said.

John Coghlan, a Kankakee school board member and the park district's attorney, told the Daily Journal on Tuesday he will abstain from voting on the bond issue at Thursday's school board meeting.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. at the Kankakee High School auditorium after holding a public hearing.