District plans for added sales tax revenue

Biggest needs at middle school

ASHTON – The Ashton-Franklin Center school district says it would devote its funds from a proposed sales tax to improving its school buildings, with its biggest needs at the middle school.

On Tuesday, Lee County voters will decide on a 1 percent sales tax that would pay for school facilities.

The revenue would be distributed to the county’s school districts based on their enrollment.

“As a result of our buildings being over 50 years old, the district will incur substantial costs in the near future to renovate,” AFC Superintendent John Zick said in a statement.

The improvements would include new roofing and windows, replacement of exterior walls and a boiler system, asbestos abatement in numerous classrooms and upgrades to plumbing fixtures, he said.

“The board understands that it must be prudent and consider all options when choosing how to expend renovation funds,” Zick said. “Board members also recognize the importance of reviewing student population trends and future staffing needs as it relates to assigning renovation dollars.

“As the renovation needs require action, funding will most likely have to come from increased property taxes or sales tax funds,” he said.

The Dixon school district plans to use its money for a sports and activities center, while Amboy, like AFC, says it would use the revenue to fix existing buildings.