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UPDATED: Woodstock School District 200, Lakewood to consider agreement on TIF

WOODSTOCK – An agreement set to be considered Tuesday by both Woodstock School District 200 and the village of Lakewood could prevent a lawsuit over the controversial tax increment financing district centered on Routes 47 and 176.

The intergovernmental agreement would hold the village responsible for reimbursing the school district for each student residing in the TIF district, school district documents show.

The school board has twice tabled a resolution to sue the village over the TIF since early December as negotiations between the two entities continued.

At issue has been a fear that the TIF could spur residential development, which could bring in more District 200 students and, therefore, more cost without the coinciding revenue, district officials have said.

The village would pay $8,680, which is how much on average the district spends with local property tax revenue to educate a student, according to the draft agreement.

The cost would increase each year the TIF exists by the rate of inflation as determined by the consumer price index.

It also says the amount that would be reimbursed to the school district could exceed what is allowed under the state statute that regulates TIFs and, in that case, “the village shall make payments using non-TIF revenue,” according to the agreement.

Village officials aren’t concerned that the provision opens the possibility that Lakewood taxpayers – the vast majority of whom fall into Community High School District 155 and Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 – would end up covering the difference, Village Administrator Catherine Peterson said.

“The village of Lakewood has control over what’s built there,” she said. “If it doesn’t make financial sense, we’re not going to do it.”

If any housing does develop in the TIF district, the plan is to have it be affordable senior housing, which is age restricted, or housing for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, Peterson said. Those types of housing would not generate new students.

On its side of the agreement, the school district would agree to drop any claims it has now against the village relating to the TIF district in any way.

The Lakewood Village Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the RedTail Golf Club, 7900 RedTail Drive, Lakewood; and the Woodstock School District 200 Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Clay Academy, 112 Grove St., Woodstock.

CORRECTION: This article has been changed to reflect the correct location of the Lakewood Village Board's meeting. The meeting will take place at the RedTail Golf Club.

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