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updated: 11/3/2014 5:57 PM

Fire, library, borrowing questions on Kane County ballots

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  • Batavia school district voters are being asked their opinion about whether the district should borrow $15 million to do buildings and grounds projects that include adding two artificial-turf fields at Batavia High School.

    Batavia school district voters are being asked their opinion about whether the district should borrow $15 million to do buildings and grounds projects that include adding two artificial-turf fields at Batavia High School.
    daily herald file photo

 
 

Some voters Tuesday get to decide what fire district to be in, tell school officials whether to borrow money to pay for artificial turf sports fields, and whether to add territory to the Gail Borden Library District.

There are referendums involving the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection and Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue districts, Batavia School District 101 and the Gail Borden Library district.

Switch fire districts?

Voters in and near Wasco and Campton Hills will decide whether to disconnect from the Elburn district, and join the Fox River district.

The issue has been a heated one, with residents arguing about the truthfulness of statements made about the Fox River district's financial future, both districts' call response times and service charges, and whether Fox River officials led the movement to disconnect the area.

One issue has been that Fox River is carrying more than $4 million in debt for building and equipping two fire stations since it started running its own calls in 2011, while the Elburn district started saving for a new Station 1 after voters approved a tax-rate increase in 2002. Proponents say borrowing was a good way to get up and running quickly, opponents prefer the pay-as-you-go style. The new Station 1 is under construction, and the district has also stationed an advanced life support fire engine in Lily Lake.

The Elburn district has appealed the Kane County court ruling that allowed the referendum to be placed on the ballot, and the judge has agreed to stay certification of the election results pending the outcome of the appeal.

Batavia District 101

Batavia school district voters are being asked their opinion about whether the district should borrow $15 million to do buildings and grounds projects that include adding two artificial-turf fields at Batavia High School.

The referendum results aren't binding.

The money would be borrowed by issuing general obligation alternate revenue bonds to be repaid over 20 years from the operations and maintenance fund, according to the bond question. District officials estimate interest costs of $5 million to $9 million.

About half the money would be spent on field work at Batavia High; the rest would be designated for roof repairs, heating and ventilation work, plumbing projects and other items at the rest of the schools.

Gail Borden Library

Gail Borden Public Library District residents, along with residents of unserved areas on the western edge of the district, will be asked if they want to annex those areas.

The results would affect an estimated 870 unserved households east of Route 47, generally north of Burlington Road and south of Plank Road, mostly in Elgin and Plato Township. The new district members would start paying library taxes in 2015.

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