Split vote on borrowing, tax rate questions at District 73

 
 
Updated 11/6/2018 11:34 PM
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  • Hawthorn Elementary South students head outside to mobile classrooms twice a week for art classes at the Vernon Hills school.

      Hawthorn Elementary South students head outside to mobile classrooms twice a week for art classes at the Vernon Hills school. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Voters were rendering a split decision on two Hawthorn Elementary District 73 ballot measures.

Unofficial totals showed voters, by a margin of 5,840 to 4,398, supporting the funding to build an 18-classroom kindergarten center, renovate all six schools and produce funds annually to operate and maintain them. Vernon Hills-based District 73 wanted permission to borrow $48.7 million for the building projects.

However, voters by a margin of 5,517 to 4,662 were against a second question raising the tax rate to generate about $1.3 million per year to operate and maintain the new and expanded facilities.

In April 2017, a single question to allow the district to borrow for building projects was soundly defeated. This time, district officials retooled the message to be clearer and held more public sessions to educate voters.

In addition, the latest vote was assisted by a residents' group with volunteers who knocked on doors with a "Vote Yes Twice" message.

For the building projects, the owner of a home valued at $350,000 will pay about $18 less annually as other bonds are retired. However, debt scheduled to end in 2025 will be extended to 2042. For the second question, the owner of the same home would have paid about $117 more annually.

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