Schools, pool, roads and fire protection on April ballot in DuPage County

  • An advisory question about raising property taxes to pay for repairs to Lufkin Pool in Villa Park will be on the April 2 ballot. The pool has been closed since the end of summer 2017.

    An advisory question about raising property taxes to pay for repairs to Lufkin Pool in Villa Park will be on the April 2 ballot. The pool has been closed since the end of summer 2017. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 2/4/2019 6:29 AM

From plans to renovate buildings in one school district to a proposal to lower property taxes in another, DuPage County voters will weigh in on a list of referendum questions during the April 2 election.

Here's a look at five key questions that will appear on the ballot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Lisle District 202

Voters in Lisle Unit District 202 are getting the rare opportunity to vote on a measure to lower their property tax bills.

A group of residents put a binding question on the ballot that asks if District 202's levy -- the portion of its budget paid with property taxes -- should be reduced.

The question was made possible because of a state law that says school districts with an "adequacy level" for education funding that's 110 percent or more are eligible for referendums seeking tax cuts. The adequacy level reflects how much the state believes a school district should be spending to educate students in comparison to what the district actually spends.

District 202 has an adequacy rate of 149 percent, according to referendum supporters.

If voters approve the proposal, the levy for the district's education fund would be reduced to $17.15 million from $19.06 million.

It's estimated the property taxes homeowners pay to the district would decrease about $100 per $100,000 of a home's value.

Villa Park

A nonbinding question will poll Villa Park voters on what the village should do with Lufkin Pool.

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The 64-year-old pool has been subject of discussion on and off since November 2017, when village trustees rejected two separate repair proposals that could have allowed the facility at 1000 Ardmore Ave. to open for another year.

Some say the pool should be demolished. Others say it's a village landmark that should be preserved and reopened.

So village officials are asking residents if they support a property tax increase totaling $1 million to fix the pool. The outcome won't obligate the village to do anything and won't automatically lead to an increase in taxes, because the vote is nonbinding.

Naperville Township

Naperville Township voters will weigh in on whether a previously approved plan to consolidate a road district should be scrapped in favor of another proposal to dissolve the small unit of government.

Residents in Naperville and Lisle townships in 2017 approved a measure to combine their road districts to form one agency. The consolidation is scheduled to take effect May 2021.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But Naperville Township officials have put a new question on the ballot that asks voters if they want to follow a state law that allows the township government to absorb the road district.

Naperville Township officials say they believe April's outcome would supersede the vote from two years ago. However, they don't know for certain that the idea of absorbing the road district into the township legally can replace the previously approved -- and now required -- merger.

Warrenville Fire

The Warrenville Fire Protection District is seeking a property tax hike so it can hire more firefighters to deal with a growing number of emergency calls.

If approved, the plan would generate roughly $570,000 a year in additional revenue for the district that includes Warrenville and unincorporated areas near Wheaton and Naperville.

"We're just trying to maintain the professional service we provide for our residents," Fire Chief Dennis Rogers said.

The district uses up to 54 part-time, contract and paid-on-call firefighters to complement its nine full-time firefighters. But the number of calls for service has jumped 23 percent over the past six years -- a trend that's expected to continue as Warrenville adds residents.

Additional tax money would allow the department to hire three new full-time firefighter-paramedics -- one for each shift. It also would hire more part-time firefighters and set aside an extra $50,000 a year for equipment.

If approved, the tax increase would cost $33 per $100,000 of a home's value. The median price of a home in the district is $249,000.

Hinsdale District 86

The largest funding request is in Hinsdale High School District 86, where officials want to borrow $139.8 million to renovate, repair and replace portions of Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South.

If the ballot measure is approved, the owner of a $500,000 house would pay an estimated $282 more a year in property taxes to the school district. The median home value in the district is $461,200.

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