Vote on Glenbard Dist. 87’s $183 million request too close to call; Roselle voters OK home rule

Voters across DuPage County delivered a mixed bag of results for taxing bodies seeking additional funding in Tuesday's election.

Glenbard High School District 87 officials remain in limbo after an election night cliffhanger: the difference between approving and rejecting a tax increase request is a mere 90 votes.

But for the second time in two years, voters in Fenton High School District 100 rejected a borrowing plan — this time by an overwhelming margin.

Here's how referendum efforts fared:

Glenbard schools

As election workers continue to tabulate mail-in ballots, the district’s $183 million question is still up in the air with 11,872 “yes” votes, or nearly 50.2% of the total, compared to 11,782 opposed, according to the latest unofficial tallies.

Vote-by-mail ballots could still count if those ballots were postmarked by Election Day and arrive at the county clerk’s office no later than April 2.

“We are deeply grateful to everyone who voted on our facility improvements referendum,” Superintendent David Larson said in a statement Wednesday. “We are eager to see the final vote tally once mail-in ballots and provisional ballots are counted. We appreciate the community’s continued support of our schools.”

The district sought voter approval to borrow $183 million by issuing bonds as part of a $312 million plan for building projects in all four Glenbard high schools. The remaining $129 million would come out of the district’s operating budget over the next 10 years.

If the “yes” vote holds, the request would cost the owner of a home valued at $300,000 an estimated $178 in additional property taxes to the district.

Village of Roselle

The village’s bid to become a home-rule municipality easily passed in a 2,315 to 1,624 vote.

State law automatically grants home-rule status to towns with a population of more than 25,000. Smaller communities such as Roselle can obtain home rule ‒ and the additional taxing and regulatory powers ‒ only with voter approval.

“Being very open and honest and giving residents the time to digest that information is really what made us unique,” Mayor David Pileski said. “We didn't hide the fact that we needed to implement a sales tax.”

Roselle officials intend to implement a home-rule sales tax next year to help fund infrastructure projects. Officials estimate the village will need at least $4.5 million in additional revenue per year to repay loans for improvements to water and wastewater systems. Roselle and other municipalities face a state mandate to remove nutrients in their wastewater treatment process.

“Now we can know that we will be guaranteeing those loans through the Illinois EPA with sales tax revenue, which is a great relief to me, I know, and I think a number of residents based on the outcome,” Pileski said.

Officials laid the groundwork for a home-rule push over the past year with a series of forums and a resident survey. Village leaders also have pledged to still abide by the state’s property tax cap, though home-rule towns are not subject to it. Trustees have not yet set a home-rule sales tax rate.

“The board is going to engage in a lot of public debate that will encourage the community to continue to be engaged and a part of the conversation to help us make sure that we're making the right decision with this new authority,” Pileski said.

Roselle Park District

Voters approved the district’s request to borrow $7 million to fund a range of projects across the parks system. Unofficial results showed 57% of voters supported the measure.

“We look forward to the completion of these projects so that Kemmerling Pool will continue to serve generations of families; Clauss Fitness Center will provide more space for those working out; and individuals and families will have enhanced trails and places to enjoy our natural environment, have picnics and play,” Park District Executive Director Lynn McAteer said in a statement.

Path improvements, tree reforestation and natural restoration projects will begin this fall. Work on the rec center and Kemmerling Park and Pool — the district plans to add a splash pad — is expected to start in 2025.

Fenton High School

More than 73% of voters turned down the district’s request to borrow $65 million for renovations and repairs to the Bensenville high school.

Had it been approved, the owner of a home valued at $229,000 would have paid roughly $222 in additional property taxes to the district a year.

The district’s ballot measure was a scaled-back version of a $99 million plan defeated in November 2022. Almost 58% of voters rejected that proposal.

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