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updated: 1/13/2012 2:09 PM

Lots of referendums on March ballots

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  • Libertyville residents will be asked to approve a $20 million loan for road repairs when they vote March 20.

      Libertyville residents will be asked to approve a $20 million loan for road repairs when they vote March 20.
    Paul Valade/Daily Herald File Photo

  • Video: Electrical Aggregation Informational Meeting

 
 

Thirty-eight referendums will be on primary election ballots in Lake County, but most concern the same topic: electricity service.

Those questions seek to determine if people want shared electricity service from a vendor other than ComEd as part of a package deal through their village or city.

Other referendums cover a proposed tax increase in Kildeer, a $20 million road-improvement plan in Libertyville and a proposed $3.75 million loan for Fox Lake Elementary District 114.

The deadline for government agencies to submit referendums to the Lake County clerk's office for the March 20 ballot was Thursday.

Voters in Kildeer, Long Grove, Gurnee, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Lake Zurich, Vernon Hills, Lindenhurst, Round Lake Beach, Lincolnshire, Barrington Hills, Libertyville, Antioch, Barrington, Riverwoods, Round Lake Park, Deer Park, Lake Villa, Wheeling, Island Lake, and Bannockburn are among those who will be asked about electricity service.

The questions ask if the particular village or city should have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such a program.

The electrical-service questions will be found on ballots throughout the Chicago area, not just in Lake County. Some municipal officials believe combining electric accounts and seeking service from suppliers other than ComEd could save money for customers.

Fox Lake Elementary District 114 officials want voters to approve a $3.75 million loan for a working cash fund.

To pay for the loan, officials want to keep in place a 25-cent tax-rate increase set to expire in 2013. Voters approved the rate increase in 2006.

If the plan passes, the district will be able to maintain class sizes and current programs, Superintendent John Donnellan said. If voters say "no," program and personnel cuts will be made, Donnellan said.

In Kildeer, voters will be asked to increase the village's portion of the retail sales tax to 1.5 percent, up from 1 percent. The overall sales tax will increase to 7.5 percent, from 7 percent.

The additional revenue would help pay for road improvements or municipal operations, Village Administrator Michael Talbett said. The question also includes a few words about possible property tax relief, but that phrase is there only because it's legally required, Talbett said.

If approved, the extra tax is expected to raise an additional $500,000 a year for the village, Talbett said.

Voters in Libertyville will be asked if they want village leaders to borrow $20 million for road repairs.

The money would be used to repair roads within the next five to seven years, officials have said, and that work could prevent more costly reconstruction.

If approved, the measure would quadruple the town's annual road improvement program.

Property taxes to the village would increase about 30 percent to cover the loans, officials have said.

"We've got to do some education. Not just on the road referendum but the (electric) aggregation," Weppler said recently. "We've got a real uphill battle on both of these referendums."

Daily Herald staff writers Lee Filas and Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.

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