Homewood SD 153 plans April referendum on bond issue
By Nikki Arseneau Correspondent January 25, 2011 11:32PM
Homewood School District 153 plans an April 5 referendum on a bond issue that district officials say would enable the district to avoid sharp budget cuts for next school year.
Representatives from District 153 visited the Homewood Village Board meeting Tuesday night to explain why the district is going to voters for approval of a $7.5 million bond sale.
If voters OK the bond issue, the bonds would be paid off in seven years. Homeowners would pay an extra $100 on their tax bill for every $100,000 of their home’s value over the next seven years, according to district officials.
“There is a significant need for some additional money. Without it, (the schools’) quality will be impacted,” said Tom Dockweiler, co-chairman of Citizens for Homewood Schools and a former District 153 school board president.
Despite reducing expenses and maintaining a balanced budget, the school district projects expenses to increase faster than revenue, which could deplete its working cash fund, its saving account, during the next four years. Worsening the problem is that the state currently owes the school district $800,000, the district representatives said.
Village Trustee Anne Colton said she believes taxpayers should vote support the bond issue.
“If we let this referendum fail, we are going to risk larger class sizes, reduction in services to our students and having poorer schools,” Colton said.