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Local News

Voters turn down seven of nine referendums

NEW LENOX – The majority of referendums from seven area taxing districts failed to pass Tuesday. 

On Tuesday, one referendum for Chaney-Monge School District 88 and two within Plainfield Township Park District passed. Referendums failed for Wilton Township, New Lenox Park and Fire Protection Districts, Steger-South Chicago Heights Public Library District, Homer Township Fire Protection District and one referendum with the Plainfield Park District.  

The New Lenox Fire Protection District asked for approval for a referendum to increase tax rates from 36 cents to about 49 cents per $100 of assessed property values. The referendum appeared to fail. With 17 out 20 precincts reporting, the no vote was 54 percent.

“Our mission statement remains the same, and we’ll still try to put in the best effort we can,” said Joe Levey, board trustee for the district.

New Lenox Community Park District officials asked to maintain the park district’s current tax rate at roughly .06 cents of taxing authority. With 18 out 21 precincts, 65 percent of the vote was no.

Greg Lewis, the park district’s executive director, said he wondered if voters were confused by the referendum on the ballot, which stated officials were looking for an increase when they district wanted only to maintain its tax rate. 

“I felt like we got the message out there but the problem is it’s a confusing question,” he said.

The Homer Township Fire Protection District asked voters for approval of a referendum for the sale of $4.7 million in bonds by the district to secure funding to alter, improve and equip existing facilities, procure vehicles, firefighting apparatus and equipment. Their referendum failed with 53 percent voting no. 

Plainfield Township Park District had three advisory referendums on the ballot on term limits for board members, building or buying an indoor recreation facility and permits for dog parks. The referenda for term limits for board members and investigation into indoor recreation facility passed while the permit for dog parks failed. 

Chaney-Monge School District 88 officials in Crest Hill sought voter authorization for the issuance of no more than $3 million in capital improvement general obligation bonds to provide school building improvements. Their referendum passed with 53 percent of voters approving.

Wilton Township officials and the Steger-South Chicago Heights Public Library District officials asked for tax increases on their referenda. Both of them failed, with 102 voters voting against Wilton Township’s referendum and 161 voting against Steger-South Chicago Heights library’s referendum. 

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