Byron Public Schools will stage third vote on referendum to renovate schools

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(ABC 6 News) – Byron Public Schools is once again asking the community to vote on spending more money to help revamp its schools. This comes months after voters there rejected the referendum. Byron public schools is asking people living in Byron to pay higher taxes so that their students can have better resources in the classroom.

But It’s the third time they’ve asked.

"Just because they voted no doesn’t mean that our problem of aging in buildings goes away," Superintendent Mike Neubeck said.

The last two votes were both "No." But the next vote – on whether or not the district gets $44.5 million – will be in November.

The money will be used to renovate kitchens, classrooms, HVAC systems, and outdoor athletic spaces. The district also wants a new auditorium.

"We’re not asking for wants, we’re asking for needs," Neubeck said.

Byron Public Schools already has an annual allowance for up-keep and renovations, but the superintendent says it isn’t enough to renovate the old buildings.

"It’s not as much as you would need to replace a whole HVAC system or electrical system," he said.

ABC 6 News talked to some concerned residents off-camera and they say that they believe the district is asking for too much money. If people vote "Yes" in November the city of Byron will pay more in property taxes. Coming up in September people in Byron can attend informational meetings about the issue where they can learn about the state aid available to offset this tax increase.

The superintendent hopes that people in Byron will be open to learning about the district’s plans.

"We need to have some good facilities for them. We need to have some efficient facilities for them," Neubeck said.

Again, Byron voters will decide in November on this referendum. If voters vote no again, Neubeck says they will re-evaluate their financial options. But he did emphasize that the need for building renovations will not go away.