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The Barrington 220 school board has scheduled five community “information” meetings and three open houses in coming weeks to inform the community about the school district referendum question on the March 17 primary election ballot. 

The district is seeking voter approval to borrow $147 million for improvements at all schools in areas such as safety and security, plumbing, electrical, roofing and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Proposed work also includes construction of a physical education and wellness center at Barrington High School, additional classrooms at the district’s two middle schools, and new classroom space at all elementary buildings for science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes, as well as students with special needs.

The community information meetings are scheduled for:

Open houses are set for:

We will be publishing copies of their draft presentations when they become available once the paid consultants (seeDistrict 220 hires former state lawmaker’s firm to help with referendum”) finish honing their spin. 

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This is an artist’s rendering of one of the seven apartment buildings planned for the Plum Farms development at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72. A Cook County judge last month dismissed a lawsuit Barrington Unit District 220 filed over the proposal.

Barrington Unit District 220 won’t challenge a Cook County circuit court judge’s decision last month to dismiss a lawsuit the school system filed against Hoffman Estates and developers of the stalled Plum Farms proposal at the northwest corner of routes 59 and 72. Hoffman Estates’ development agreement limits Plum Farms to 1,250 homes of various types. The most recent plan submitted by a development partnership calls for 1,035.

But the last indication of progress on Plum Farms was interrupted by the filing of a lawsuit in July 2017 by residents of the nearby Regency at the Woods of South Barrington retirement community.

District 220 intervened in the complaint on the side of the residents, with the developer and village named as defendants. The density of the proposed development and the potential for additional students’ costs to exceed the increase in tax revenue were at the heart of the school district’s concerns.

While the residents’ original lawsuit was settled last summer, District 220 kept its part of the case active until it was dismissed in December. School board President Penny Kazmier announced at a meeting Tuesday night that the district will not pursue any further legal action in the case.

Read more here.

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The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce will host its 2020 Annual Economic Summit, “State of the Barrington Region,” from 8-10 AM Wednesday, February 5th at Barrington’s White House, 145 W. Main St., Barrington.

The event gathers village officials from 11 surrounding communities to update local business leaders and the community on current economic conditions and what lies ahead for the Barrington area in 2020. Confirmed speakers include Karen Darch of Barrington; Martin McLaughlin of Barrington Hills; Beth McAndrews of Deer Park; Nandia Black of Kildeer; Kevin Richardson of Lake Barrington; Bill Jacob of Long Grove; Eleanor Sweet McDonnell of North Barrington; Shannon Yeaton of Port Barrington; Paula McCombie of South Barrington and David Parro of Tower Lakes.

The public is invited. Seating is limited. To register, call the BACC office at 847-381-2525, or email events@barringtonchamber.com. You can also register online at the BACC website, www.BarringtonChamber.com

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Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, criticizes the Democratic leaders of a property tax relief task force during a news conference Wednesday in Chicago. She said 26 Republican recommendations were ignored by the chairman of the task force.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois House Republicans on Wednesday blasted a draft final report from the special Property Tax Relief Task Force that lawmakers formed last year. They said the panel’s

Democratic majority summarily rejected dozens of proposals from Republicans.

“Following the release of their draft within the last week, we once again see [House Democrats] refuse to be serious … at a time when our citizens are so desperate and wanting for change in state government,” House GOP Leader Jim Durkin, of Western Springs, said during a news conference in Chicago.

The draft report has been circulating among the 88 members of the task force — or about half of the General Assembly — as the group prepares to issue a final report to Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the legislature ahead of the start of the 2020 legislative session Jan. 28.

It calls for, among other things, having the state take over a greater share of funding responsibility for public schools, consolidating potentially hundreds of elementary school and high school districts into full K-12 “unit” districts, and extending the state sales tax to various services that aren’t currently taxed to raise state revenue that could be used to lower local property taxes.

Read more from Capitol News Illinois here.

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Hoffman Estates village board members voted 6-1 Monday to approve a tax incentive to spark economic development on 64 acres along the village’s stretch of Higgins Road west of The Arboretum of South Barrington shopping center.

A larger, 185-acre area of the same site at the northwest corner of Higgins Road and Route 59 has been the subject of the concept plan for the controversial Plum Farms mixed-use development that’s been idle for the past 2½ years since a lawsuit was filed over its residential density.

That lawsuit was originally filed by residents of the nearby Regency of the Woods of South Barrington retirement community. After Barrington Unit District 220 intervened in the suit on the side of the residents, the retirement community settled its portion.

Last month, District 220’s own lingering case was dismissed by a judge based on a legal precedent. But at its next meeting on Jan. 14, school the board intends to choose among its options to file a motion for reconsideration, file a notice of appeal or let the judge’s ruling lie, Superintendent Brian Harris said.

Read more here.

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Barrington High School class of 1969

It was a sweet BHS Homecoming 2019!

Holiday greetings from the Barrington High School Alumni Association! We had a busy fall as alumni converged on the Village of Barrington for the 2019 Homecoming Parade on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. The theme was “Candyland Homecoming: It’s Going to be Sweet!” 

The class of 1969 (pictured above), which celebrated its 50th reunion, led the annual homecoming parade down Main Street. Class of 1970, you’re up next!

The BHSAA also sponsored the annual BHSAA Alumni and Friends Tailgate Party in the Chessie’s parking lot. The turn-out was terrific! Alumni enjoyed good food, drinks and live music. 

The traditional Sunday brunch at Chessie’s was a fitting end to the weekend, which always begins with the Annual Quarterback Club Pancake Breakfast in the BHS Cafeteria.

Read the full Barrington High School Alumni Association December 2019 updates here.

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Buckle up buckaroos, the March 17 220 referendum marketing blitz is about to start.

A guarantee of a safer future for residents, both a failed and a renewed quest for a referendum to upgrade the area’s schools and new faces in local government were among the top 2019 news events for the Barrington area.

School referendum fails, District 220 to try again

After voters rejected a $185 million referendum by Barrington School District 220 in the April 2 election, the Board of Education formally decided to put a scaled back $147 million question on the March 17, 2020 primary ballot.

After the April vote, board members started a four-month discussion evaluating what needs were most important for the district’s elementary and middle schools as well as Barrington High School. They also looked at the best ways to communicate their message.

Board members said a break-even referendum, rather than one which raised taxes, might be more palpable for voters. The $145 million proposal will actually result in district property owners paying less taxes than they are now. Superintendant Brian Harris said the owner of a $500,000 home will pay approximately $76 less for the district’s portion of the tax bill than their current amount.

Read more from the Barrington Courier-Review here.

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