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Voters facing a variety of issues

Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – It’s Election Day, and Lee County voters are faced with a variety of issues and races that will affect their future.

Among the most watched: School officials are asking voters to approve the 1 percentage-point sales tax increase, which is estimated to bring in an extra $1.4 million a year to Dixon schools, $403,000 to Amboy schools and $270,000 to Ashton-Franklin Center schools.

Districts can use the money only to construct new buildings or renovate existing ones, to tackle safety issues, buy land, and fix roofs, windows and boilers, among other improvements, or to abate property taxes levied to pay off existing construction bonds. It can’t be used to buy supplies or pay teachers.

The same question is before Ogle and Whiteside County voters.

And speaking of the sales tax, all six candidates vying for four Dixon School Board seats support its passage, saying the money it would raise is needed to make up for the district’s loss of $700,000 in general state aid.

Also in Dixon, three candidates – President William Ost, incumbent Shane Miller and Richard Koenig – are running for two 4-year seats on the Dixon Park Board, while another hopeful, Brett Schmall, is running unopposed for a 2-year seat.

Making do with less are on the minds of all four, they have said.

Dixon voters also will be asked – for a third time – whether they want to give the city the power to negotiate for lower electricity rates.

Voters in the unincorporated areas of Lee and Whiteside counties and the village of Lee, in far eastern Lee County, are being asked the same question.

Supporters say it will save consumers $150 to $200 a year on their bills; opponents say it would bring more unneeded government interference.

What do you say? Today’s the day to be heard.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To verify your registration or to find your polling place, call the Lee County Clerk’s Office at 815-288-3309.

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