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Byron's $58 million school referendum explained

Talia Milavetz
Created: March 02, 2020 07:08 PM

Voters in Byron will have a multi-million dollar decision on their hands this May. 

The school district is putting forward a $58 million referendum that’s been a year and a half in the making. 

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"Looking at the capacity of the building and the age of the facilities, through that process got to a decision point of going to a referendum,” said Byron Superintendent Dr. Joey Page.

Dr. Page said one of the goals of the referendum is to plan for growing enrollment. 

"The projects that are listed in here will certainly help with the expansion of the high school. That's our pressure point right now. But also with renovating our DACS (District and Community Services) building would accommodate growth in our early childhood programs too,” he said. 

According to the referendum website, the high school will be over capacity by 2021 and by 2027 about  450 more students are expected to join the district.  

If the referendum is approved, more classrooms and outdoor varsity athletic facilities will be coming to the high school soon. 

"We're looking at our football field, we have our soccer complex, track as well and then baseball/softball as well,” he said. 

A “yes” vote will also set aside money for an auditorium at the high school with seats, lighting, equipment, restrooms and classroom space. It will also help revamp kitchen spaces at the middle and intermediate school

Several neighbors said off camera they worried about their taxes increasing.  

"That price tag does come at $58 million. However with Debt Service Equalization aid and Ag2 School the overall tax impact is not at that level."

Page expects that the state will cover about 42 percent of the bill if the referendum passes. 

With that aid, owners of a $200,000 home would pay about $140 a year. Without that aid, it would be closer to $380. 

Homeowners can calculate their projected tax impact here

The special election is on May 12th 2020. There will be several meetings in Byron over the next few months where voters can learn more. For the latest information click here.


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