(525 ILCS 33/30)
Open Lands Loan Program.
The Department may establish an Open
Loan Program to make loans to units of local government
for the purpose of assisting in the purchase of real property
open spaces and lands with significant natural resource attributes. For
purposes of the
program, and not by way of limitation on any other purposes or programs
provided for in
this Act, there is hereby established the Open Lands Loan Fund, a special fund
in the State
The Department has the power to use any appropriations from the State made for
purposes under this Act and to enter into any intergovernmental agreements with
government or the State, or any instrumentality thereof, for purposes of
Open Lands Loan Fund. Moneys in the Open Lands Loan Fund may be used for any
purpose under the Open Lands Loan Program including, without limitation, the
loans permitted under this Act.
The Department may establish and collect any fees and
determine and enforce any terms and conditions, and charge any interest rates
determines to be necessary and appropriate to the successful administration of
Lands Loan Program. All principal and interest repayments on loans made using
withdrawn from the Open Lands Loan Fund shall be deposited
into the Open Lands Loan Fund to be used for the purposes of the
Loan program or for any other purpose under this Act that the Department, in
finds appropriate. Investment earnings on moneys held in the Open Lands Loan
in any reserve fund or pledged fund created with funds withdrawn from the Open
Loan Fund must be treated in the same way as loan repayments.
The Department shall promulgate rules concerning selection and eligibility
requirements. The rules shall include the following additional requirements:
(1) Units of local government receiving loans under
this Act to acquire real property must:
(A) agree to make and keep the lands accessible
to the public for conservation and recreation, unless the Department determines that public accessibility would be detrimental to the lands or any natural resources associated with the land;
(B) agree that all real property acquired with
loan proceeds shall not be sold, leased, exchanged, or otherwise encumbered unless it is used to qualify for a federal program or, subject to Department approval, transferred to the federal government, the State, or a unit of local government for conservation and recreation purposes consistent with this Act;
(C) agree to execute and donate to the State at
no charge a conservation easement on the lands to be acquired; and
(D) agree to manage lands in accordance with the
terms of the loan. Any changes in management must be approved by the Department before implementation.
(2) Loans made by the Department to units of local
government must be secured by interests in collateral and guarantees that the Department determines are necessary to protect the Department's interest in the repayment of the principal and interest, if any, of each loan made under this Section.
(3) Loans made by the Department may be used only to
purchase interests in land from willing sellers and may not involve the use of eminent domain.
(4) Borrowers may not use the proceeds from other
Department grant programs to repay loans made under this program.
(5) Borrowers must agree to manage lands in
accordance with the terms of the loan. Any changes in management must be approved by the Department before implementation.
(6) The Department is authorized to promulgate, by
rule, other reasonable requirements necessary to effectively implement this Act.
(Source: P.A. 91-220, eff. 7-21-99.)