Will County voters face school, fire district questions on March primary ballots

Will County — Primary voters in Will County will be asked to weigh in on a series of questions during the upcoming March 19 election that could greatly alter the services their communities receive going forward.

There are seven referenda appearing on various ballots throughout Will County affecting schools, fire departments, parks and taxation rates.

Lockport Township High School District 205

The largest financial question on the primary ballot is being posed by Lockport Township High School District 205, which is asking voters to approve $85 million in bonds that the district plans to use to renovate Central campus, its 115-year-old freshman building.

Renovations at the building would include replacing the school’s outdated heating, ventilation and air conditioning and mechanical systems, updating and expanding classroom spaces, and improving Americans With Disabilities Act accessibility for the facility while still preserving the building’s exterior architecture and historic Veterans Foyer and gymnasium.

The proposal does not relate to repairs that are ongoing at Central campus for the ceiling that collapsed Nov. 1, which is being paid for from existing funds; however, the two projects could overlap.

Lockport Township High School District 205 Central campus in Lockport, Sept. 19, 2023.  The campus serves as a freshmen center.

Lemont Park District

The Lemont Park District is asking for approval for a bond issue from residents.

The district is requesting approval to issue $17 million in bonds to make improvements to several of its facilities. If passed, the Centennial Community Center would receive new mechanical systems and see increased ADA access as well as expanded multipurpose rooms.

The Centennial campus also would have its tennis and pickleball courts renovated and rebuilt. The CORE Fitness and Aquatics complex will have its fitness spaces “updated and reconfigured,” and Derby Farm Park will receive a newly constructed walking path, playground, bathrooms, splash pad and multi-sport fields.


The residents of Bolingbrook are being asked for their input on the process for selecting a village clerk. Currently, the village clerk is an elected position, but voters will be asked in March if they would prefer to not cast their vote for the role.

If the referendum passes, the position would become an appointed one, selected by the mayor and approved by the Village Board. This change would go into effect upon the expiration of the current clerk’s ongoing term.

Custer Fire Protection District

Residents of Custer Park and its surrounding communities will vote whether to officially dissolve the Custer Fire Protection District and consolidate it with the Braidwood Fire Protection District.

The vote would not change services being provided to the Custer district’s residents since the Custer Fire Protection District officially handed over service to Braidwood on Oct. 1, 2023, through an intergovernmental agreement.

The referendum would formally dissolve the Custer FPD’s board and merge the two departments into one, which would streamline governance of the districts and reduce Custer residents’ taxes. Currently, the Braidwood district’s taxes are lower.

fire truck

Peotone Park District

The Peotone Park District is asking residents to approve an increase in the limiting rate of its property tax levy, which would allow it to collect more funds for park improvements and maintenance.

The district is requesting an increase to the limiting rate of 0.0547% over the 2022 rate, which would bring the total rate to 0.1796% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property in 2024.

Wilton Township

The Wilton Township Road District is looking to raise taxes specifically for the purposes of constructing and repairing bridges, culverts, drainage structures and grade separations.

The road district is asking residents to approve a new tax of 0.25% of the equalized assessed value of taxable property to be used for this purpose.

Homer Glen

Residents of the village of Homer Glen will be asked to vote on a nonbinding advisory referendum, which, if approved, would instruct the village to “take appropriate action and pursue appropriate efforts to potentially dissolve or discontinue township government.”

It is not immediately clear what actions this would prompt the village to take, but it could result in property within Homer Glen becoming unincorporated. The referendum also would not fully dissolve Homer Township, as the township encompasses portions of unincorporated Will County, Lockport and Lemont in addition to Homer Glen.

The township still would exist and provide services for those jurisdictions that are not being asked to vote on the issue.