Lake Villa schools $30.7 million tax hike passes

Voters in Lake Villa Elementary District 41 approved a $30.7 million borrowing plan to fund building projects at four of the district's schools.

Unofficial results show the proposal had 1,891 votes in favor and 1,624 votes in opposition.

Victory is a relief for the district, which had a building proposal to address repairs at aging schools soundly defeated at the polls last April.

The request to voters was simplified and the amount asked reduced by $19.3 million.

Last year, one ballot question asked if the school board should borrow $34.2 million to boost security, renovate classrooms and tackle other projects. The other asked if the board should extend its debt service base to raise an additional $790,000 annually for maintenance costs.

Both measures faced well-organized opponents who cited a lack of comprehensive planning and questioned the amount of the proposed expenditures.

School officials acknowledged the requests were confusing and the scope, which included 21st-century learning initiatives and extensive building work, was too expensive for voters.

District officials regrouped and after the defeat, hosted nearly two dozen public meetings to solicit input, discuss building and maintenance needs and revise the request.

- Jake Griffin

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