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Board unanimously approves putting infrastructure bond referendum on June ballot

At the Board of Education meeting on Monday evening, Community Consolidated School District 89 Board members unanimously agreed to place a bond referendum on the June 28 ballot. Board members voted to place a question on the ballot that will ask residents whether they support issuing bonds to protect the infrastructure at all five schools while also reducing taxes.

If approved by voters, the referendum would allow the district to issue $27 million in bonds. The bonds would be used to improve educational environments and safety systems while providing property-tax relief.

In 2021, the district completed payment on one set of bonds, which will lower the spring 2022 taxes for the average CCSD 89 homeowner by $239. The June referendum will allow the community to vote whether to renew a second set of bonds. If the referendum is approved, it will lower the taxes on the average homeowner by an additional $4, for a total reduction of $243 per year.

The bonds would allow the district to complete the majority of the work over two summers (2023 and 2024). If the bonds are not approved, the projects would still need to be completed, but the work would be spread out over 20 years. During those two decades, there would be additional costs for maintenance and repairs, as well as potential system failures.

“The referendum would allow us to protect the community’s investment by ensuring our schools continue to be safe, healthy places where children can focus on learning,” said CCSD 89 Superintendent Dr. Emily K. Tammaru. 

About the projects

All five CCSD 89 schools (four elementary schools and one middle school) are more than 50 years old. Prior to approaching the Board about a referendum, the district’s director of buildings and grounds worked with the district’s architect to identify systems in the schools that will need to be replaced over the next 10 years. The projects were presented to an advisory committee made up of residents and staff, then shared with the community via two surveys to identify residents’ priorities. 

If approved, the bonds would fund repairs or replacement of several large pieces of infrastructure that are past their expected lifespan, including: roofs (Arbor View, Briar Glen, Glen Crest); energy-efficient heating systems (Briar Glen); and parking lots (Arbor View, Briar Glen, partial Glen Crest, Park View, Westfield). The referendum would also allow the district to redesign the Arbor View and Briar Glen entrances to provide more secure entrances to the buildings.

By law, bonds can only be used for infrastructure projects; they can not be used to pay for personnel, transportation, or supplies. Bonds are similar to home loans in that they are issued for a certain amount of time and expire when they are paid back.

You can learn more about the referendum here: www.ccsd89.org/schoolbonds The webpage will be updated with more information about the referendum, including dates for future community informational meetings where residents will be able to learn more about the referendum and ask questions.

Community shows support for referendum question

The seven Board Members’ decision to place a bond referendum on the ballot comes after feedback from two community surveys and three community forums. The responses indicated residents supported issuing bonds that would not increase taxes. In the phone survey, 57 percent of residents said they supported issuing $27 million in bonds.

The referendum question that will appear on the ballot will read:

Shall the Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District Number 89, DuPage County, Illinois, alter, repair and equip the Arbor View Elementary, Briar Glen Elementary, Park View Elementary, Westfield Elementary and Glen Crest Middle School Buildings, including installing school safety and security improvements and repairing and replacing windows, doors, roofs and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $27,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?

Voting ‘yes’ on this question would be voting to support the referendum and issue the bonds. Voting ‘no’ on the referendum would be voting against the referendum.

The referendum will be on the ballot June 28. Early voting starts June 14. You can find out more information about registering to vote in DuPage County at: www.dupageco.org/Election/Voting/

Posted: March 22, 2022