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Voters reject referendum for Alden-Hebron District 19's $20.3M plan, preliminary results show

Election judge Pat Artner of Crystal Lake sets up the polling place at Bethany Lutheran Church on Monday, April 1, 2019 in Crystal Lake.
Election judge Pat Artner of Crystal Lake sets up the polling place at Bethany Lutheran Church on Monday, April 1, 2019 in Crystal Lake.

Voters in Alden-Hebron District 19's boundaries rejected a referendum Tuesday that would have allowed the district to issue $20.3 million in bonds to build a new facility, according to preliminary vote totals.

The district requested taxpayer approval to execute its plan to build a new facility for its middle and high school students. A person who owns a $150,000 home could have seen the school district portion of their property tax bill go up by $913 as a result of the new debt.

Voters overwhelmingly voted against the plan. A total of 732 – 76.6%– people voted against the plan, with 224 – 23.4% – voting for it, according to unofficial voting totals from the McHenry County Clerk's office. All four precincts have been reported, according to the office.

Early voting totals have not been counted.

District 19 had most recent middle and high school enrollment of 211, with a current senior class of 33, according to district documents.

The proposed facility was supposed to be constructed on land the district bought in 2016 at the intersection of Price and Kemman roads. The land was owned by Daniel Walters, the father-in-law of then-District 19 board President Susan Walters.

The facility was proposed to have 22 classrooms, two science labs, a library, a gym and a band room. The common areas were designed for up to 400 students.

The board has not said specifically how it will move forward in the event of the rejection of the referendum, but options would include possible redistricting, placing another referendum on the general primary ballot in 2020 or completing $17.4 million in repairs over multi-year timeline, according to district documents.

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