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Voters reject CUSD 201 referendum

Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 11:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 4:20 p.m. CDT

WESTMONT – The Community Unit School District 201 referendum on Tuesday's primary ballot did not pass, receiving only 379 "yes" votes out of 1720 total voters, according to the DuPage County Election Commission.

In all, 1341, or over 77 percent, of residents voted against the referendum, which asked the public whether or not the debt service extension base should be increased over an estimated 20-year period in order to improve security, safety and a range of other projects at all four district schools – C.E. Miller Elementary, J.T. Manning Elementary, Westmont Junior High and Westmont High.

The referendum needed over 50 percent of the voter turnout in order to pass.

In order to complete the projects, the DSEB needed to be increased $1.25 million to $2.4 million, yielding an available $24.4 million to use on the immediate facility projects at four schools. But the referendum question asked to increase the DSEB even further to $3 million, allowing the district to take out more bonds in the future for longer-term projects, according to CUSD 201 Superintendent Kevin Carey.

If it had passed, a tax hike would have been levied on homeowners, and a $250,0000 home would pay $225 per year for the next 20 years in order to fund the projects.

However, like with the current DSEB, the stakeholders fee would have increase from year to year if the school district decided to increase the DSEB by 5 percent or the consumer price index, whichever is less, and then sell more bonds.

During an informational meeting March 10, Carey said the district would look into other avenues to complete the projects if the referendum did not pass.

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