Those who have utilized a few of the facilities at various Champaign County Forest Preserve District sites likely have noticed what’s needed.
A repair here, a reconstruction there, an overhaul over there. Cumulatively there are enough projects requiring attention that county voters will be asked to approve a referendum on their ballots for the Nov. 3 election.
The referendum would increase property taxes by $5.33 annually for each $100,000 of assessed value. It would generate approximately $689,000 annually in revenue.
“Just voting yes will have a major impact — not just now, on our current resources — but for future generations,” said Peg Busch, board member of the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation.
Busch said the preserves — Homer Lake, Lake of the Woods, Middle Fork River, River Bend, Sangamon River and the Kickapoo Rail Trail — have a backlog of capital projects totaling more than $4 million.
Projects that would be addressed over the next five years include restoration and beach improvements at Willow Pond (Middle Fork River); covered bridge roof replacement (Lake of the Woods); spillway repairs (Lake of the Woods); dam repairs (Homer Lake); nature center improvements (Homer Lake); paved bike path repairs (Lake of the Woods); trail improvements (River Bend); upgrades to various restroom facilities and playgrounds, and the replacement of equipment that is long past its life expectancy.
Read answers to frequently asked questions and learn more about the referendum on the CCFPD website.