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Open houses to cover Sandwich School District 430 referendum

February 22, 2017

SANDWICH – A committee focused on an April 4 property tax referendum in Sandwich School District 430 will hold three informational open houses to explain the proposal and the need for renovations and repairs for life-safety work in district schools.

Todd Latham is the chairman.

The open houses at Sandwich Middle School are scheduled for 7 p.m. today; 7 p.m. March 9; and 7 p.m. March 22.

District 430 board President Dale Hamilton announced the informational sessions at a recent meeting.

The board has proposed taking on new debt to make building repairs but still providing some relief to homeowners. The proposal would add $700,000 in debt to be repaid through property taxes.

However, the debt service payments will be less than those required to pay off the construction of Sandwich Middle School. That loan will be repaid in 2018, officials said.

The new money would be used to pay for required life-safety repairs at district schools, including repairing and renovating exits; improving emergency escapes and doors, plus making it possible to control entry to outside doors; lighting and flooring upgrades; improving and repairing stairs and sidewalks; and upgrading electrical and mechanical systems.

Hamilton said that if there was no change in the equalized assessed valuation and the borrowing referendum passes, homeowners with a market value of $150,000 would see the bond and interest portion of the real estate taxes they pay to the school district reduced by about $50 a year.

If voters reject the board’s proposal, the same homeowners would see their property taxes reduced by about $170 a year.