Rep. Long Sponsored Legislation Helps Utica Build a New School

Springfield… Illinois’ House of Representatives today approved Senate Bill 1290, bipartisan legislation introduced by State Rep. Jerry Long (R-Streator) to allow Waltham School District 185 in Utica to increase their debt limit so that they may build a new, consolidated school.

 “School districts who have worked hard to be financially stable, like Waltham 185, deserve to be rewarded,” stated Rep. Long.  “The reason I was able to support this legislation is because of the excellent stewardship being demonstrated in Waltham School District 185; they are financially one of the most stable school districts in the state.  By increasing their debt limit, Waltham will now be able to build a better school, without a tax increase, further unifying the community of North Utica and giving their children the educational environment they deserve.”

Currently the district spans two schools, both more than 50 years old. This legislation would allow the school district to consolidate the schools, which would lead to greatly reduced maintenance and utility costs for the district. In order to take on the new debt, the legislation provides that the school board must enter into intergovernmental agreements with both the cities of Lasalle and Utica to pledge monies in a special tax allocation fund associated with tax increment financing (TIF) districts.  The intergovernmental agreement may extend these TIF districts as necessary to ensure repayment of the debt.

The bill will now head to the Senate for concurrence. Constituents looking to stay up to date on SB1290 or any other piece of legislation are urged to visit or contact Rep. Long’s office at 815-510-9689 or via email at

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