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Construction firm big donor to pro-referendum group

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State records show that the biggest donor the citizens group backing the District 65 new school referendum is a Mount Prospect firm that has done work on District 65 construction projects.

A rendering of the proposed new 5th Ward school that voters on March 20 will decide whether to build as part of a $48 million property tax referendum.

State records show that the biggest donor the citizens group backing the District 65 new school referendum is a Mount Prospect firm that has done work on District 65 construction projects.

Reports submitted by Citizens for a Better Evanston show that its largest donation — $2,500 — came from NEPCO Inc. of 1001 Feehanville Drive in Mount Prospect.

A story published by the Evanston RoundTable last year identified Nick Papanicholas, Jr., of NEPCO as District 65's construction manager for an expansion project at Lincoln School.

State law doesn't require committees to report all their donations until mid-April, after the election is over.

But it does require immediate reporting of contributions of $1,000 or more.

In addition to NEPCO, the only other contributions CBE has reported are ones of $1,000 each from Susan Greene of 922 Asbury Ave. and Terri Shepard of 150 Barton Ave.

Greene is listed as the bookkeeper for the committee. A health care benefits consultant, she was a member of district's ad-hoc budget committee appointed last year 

A Robyn Gabel supporter, Greene filed a petition signature challenge that resulted in State Rep. Gabel's Libertarian party opponent being kicked off the election ballot in 2010.

Shepard is a long-time activist on school issues who, among other things, supported the failed effort to rename Haven Middle School for former mayor Lorraine Morton.

No group opposing the referendum has filed reports with the state. Groups are only required to file once their contributions or expenditures hit the $3,000 mark.

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