Morton Chamber and EDC Endorse School Referendum

Monday, February 28, 2011

Morton, IL  – The Morton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the Morton Economic Development Council Board of Directors announced today that they are both endorsing the Morton 709 School Referendum to construct new gymnasiums and classrooms for three of the local elementary schools.  “Morton has a deserved reputation for being one of the best school districts in the State,” said John Feser, President of the Morton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  “Taking care of that reputation by completing this needed facility upgrade is critical to our business and community growth efforts.”

The $12.5 million dollar referendum, with a 6-7 year payoff, will provide new 5,000 square foot elementary-sized gymnasiums and additional classrooms for Lettie Brown, Grundy, and Lincoln Elementary Schools.  It will also include some upgraded school drop-off areas at several of these schools.  “Right now our schools are receiving a waiver from the State of Illinois for mandatory P.E. class because 3 of our 4 elementary schools do not have the space to provide it,” said Jennifer Daly, Executive Director for the Morton Chamber and EDC.  “The waivers will not continue after 2015.  We need to build these gymnasiums or we could risk losing state funding and accreditation which could severely damage the image of our schools and ultimately the willingness of families to move here for our education programs.”

The Morton Chamber and EDC believe the passing of this referendum is critical to future community growth and the prosperity of our local citizens and businesses. “We have to be competitive,” said Mike Witzig, President of the Morton Economic Development Council.  “We are one of the most respected school districts around and to keep that advantage and draw people to our community we need to support this referendum.  We know people come to Morton because they are drawn here by our school district.  We can’t risk losing that advantage.”

The Chamber of Commerce and EDC are asking all local businesses to support the referendum.  “We have information about the referendum on our website including the application to receive an absentee ballot by mail,” said Daly.  “We also have stickers, yard signs, fliers, and posters at our office for businesses that want to show their support.”   The Benefitting our Kids Committee, a local group in support of the referendum, meets every Saturday at 9am at the new Morton Fire House on West Courtland.  Anyone interested in helping to canvas on behalf of the referendum is also invited to attend their meetings.

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