Resident taxpayers opposing the construction of a $37,000+ fence have a second chance to convince the Crystal Lake School District 47 Board to defeat the proposal.
A vote to approve the expense was taken at the June 15, 2020, Zoom meeting.
The expense was approved five to two.
Rob Fetzner, Betsy Les, Curt Wadlington, Jonathan Powell, and Emily Smith voted yay.
Ryan Farrell and John Pellikan voted nay.
However the meeting was later declared invalid.
Not all the letters submitted to the Board from citizens opposed to the precedent-setting structure were read aloud to the Board.
In addition, citizens attempted to “raise” their virtual hands at the Zoom meeting and were not called upon to speak.
Taxpayers have been fighting the Glacier Ridge Elementary School fence since July 2019.
The high cost of building and maintaining the fence, and the manpower needed mowing and cleaning debris along the fence are two of the reasons they oppose the structure.
Some cite the the possibility of setting a fence-all-district properties as a long term plan as the reason for opposing the fence.
Others question the necessity, and the aesthetic impact on adjacent properties, among other reasons.
District 47 plans to remove a mature natural barrier that has been on the property for years, and replace it with a four-foot chain link fence.
Chainlink fences are not permitted for the adjacent housing.
The school district is exempt from the building code restriction and is allowed to construct a chainlink fence as a barrier.
Fences made of other materials are allowed to be built by adjacent homeowners, and approximately one-third of the homes have fences.
The result will be double fencing which creates an easement that needs to be maintained, cleaned, mown, and disallows students to walk to the school campus from their own yards.
Neighbors are concerned that access to the public property will be greatly impacted.
Residents report that many people use the property for recreation when school is not in session.
However the project is still moving forward at the request of administration and others in the name of safety for the students.
All parties agree that students should be safe.
However, those taxpayers against the construction of the fence do not agree that the proposed fence is the solution to any safety issues.
A vote is expected to be taken at the Monday, July 20, 2020, Board meeting.