Digital Access

Digital Access
Access theherald-news.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, sports, business, classified and more! News you can use every day.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Have our latest news, sports and obituaries emailed directly to you Monday through Friday so you can keep up with what's happening in the area.
Local News

Tax hikes for Rockdale school, New Lenox fire

Minooka school district $50 million proposal shot down

Rockdale School District 84 is seen Oct. 11 in Rockdale. The district wants a referendum limiting tax rates to raise money. If they don't, there will be big cuts to programs and the district may need to close down in a few years.
Rockdale School District 84 is seen Oct. 11 in Rockdale. The district wants a referendum limiting tax rates to raise money. If they don't, there will be big cuts to programs and the district may need to close down in a few years.

Voters approved a tax hike for the New Lenox Fire District and the Rockdale School District but rejected a $50 million proposal from Minooka Community Consolidated School District 201.

Rockdale School District

Voters in Rockdale decided to approve a tax increase that could help save the town’s school. The vote was 494 in favor and 173 against.

The increase will take the rate from 1.37 percent, the lowest in Will County, according to the district, to 2.27 percent.

Rockdale School District 84 had already cut all extracurricular activities, including sports, band and choir for this academic year to help close a $300,000 budget deficit.

Many in the district of slightly fewer than 300 students were worried that without a tax increase, the cuts already made would become permanent and more would be needed.

That would have included cutting a teaching position, which for such a small district could have meant a lot.

Some feared that in a few years, it could have meant the district becoming insolvent and possibly dissolving. 

Like many school districts in Illinois, Rockdale gets the majority of its revenue, about 68 percent, from local sources.

State funding accounts for about 21 percent and federal funding makes up about 11 percent. 

New Lenox Fire Protection District

Voters in the New Lenox Fire Protection District approved a proposal to raise its tax rate from 0.387 percent to 0.59 percent. The vote was 9,947 in favor and 6,258 against.

Similar proposals had been rejected by voters five previous times. The last time the New Lenox Fire Protection District tax levy was increased was in 1989. 

The fire district already closed one fire station earlier this year for about a month before the village of New Lenox, a completely separate taxing body, lent it money to keep the station open. 

Fire Chief Adam Riegel feared that without more revenue, the district would not only have to close a fire station for good, but also let go of about a quarter of the crew.

Minooka Community
Consolidated School District 201

For the second time in less than a year, residents voted down a multimillion-dollar proposal from Minooka Community Consolidated School District 201.

This time, voters said no to a $50 million bond referendum for a new school for fifth- to eighth-graders by 821 votes, according to the unofficial tally Tuesday night.

The push for the referendum, and the new school, was because of an increase in population in the district.

Fifth- and six-grade classes have grown by more than 100 students each since the 2011-12 school year.

It’s not just space the district is worried about.

Minooka Junior High School Principal Sarah Massey has said she worries teachers will leave because of the increased class sizes.

On March 6, voters were against a proposed $90 million bond that would have meant two new schools, and additions to two existing schools.

The Nov. 6 referendum for $50 million was for the intermediate school. It would be located on Seil Road in Shorewood.

Minooka Community Consolidated School District 201’s boundaries cover parts of three counties.

Kendall County voters voted in favor of the referendum, while Will and Grundy voters voted against it.

White Oak Library and
Bolingbrook Park District

A proposal for the White Oak Library also failed. The measure failed with 14,325 voting against it and 9,480 voting in favor of it.

A proposal from the Bolingbrook Park District succeeded with 14,124 voting in favor of it and 8,526 voting against it.

The district will get $14 million in bonds over a 20-year period to make community improvements.

Loading more