The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 28, 2014

Park district an intriguing idea

The Commercial-News

---- — About 60 people gathered Wednesday night to hear advocates for the creation of a park district in and around Oakwood. A referendum to creat the district, with its own tax rate, will be on the March 18 primary ballot.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Gary Ludwig and Clay Woodard explained the proposed district would carry the same boundaries as Oakwood’s school district. It would be governed by its own five-member board and would use the revenue generated by its tax rate to pay for recreational. The proposed rate of 17.5 cents per $100 of assessed value would mean a homeowner with a $60,000 home would pay an additional $35 a year in property taxes to the park district.

The idea of a park district to develop and promote recreational activities in the area covered by the district seems solid. Parts of Kickapoo State Park, Kennekuk County Park, the Middle Fork National Scenic River and the Middle Fork Recreational Area are in or near the proposed park district, and plans to convert a former rail line into a bicycle/hiking trails between Urbana and Kennekuk continue to move forward.

The potential return on the investment of a few tax dollars to the local economy makes the district worth supporting.