The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 13, 2014

Oakwood voters to decide on establishing park district

The Commercial-News

---- — OAKWOOD — A referendum on Tuesday’s primary ballot asking voters to establish a park district in Oakwood is intended to help improve the committee by helping with improvements and projects.

Called the Lincoln Trail Park District, the district would cover the area covered by Oakwood School District 76, including parts of Oakwood, Pilot, Blount and Vance townships.

Oakwood resident Gary Ludwig is among the proponents of the district. He says the district could allow for improvements in a variety of potential projects. He pointed to improvement of bathroom facilities at the park in Oakwood as one example.

“A lot times people would like to do it, but don’t have the means to do it,” he said of potential projects. “(The district) would allow that to happen.”

He indicated the approval of a park district would allow the utilization of tax dollars for projects in any of the villages, townships or school district its covers. The district, Ludwig said, also could help with projects that seek grant funding.

“A lot of times there are grants available for a community, but those a lot of times are available on a matching funds set up,” he said. “We would be able to do that and lend a hand in matching those funds.”

In order to achieve the work, the district would require a property tax increase. According to Ludwig, residents who own a $100,000 would pay a little more than $4 per month more.

“That’s not a deal breaker,” he said. “No one likes taxes unless everything comes right back into our community again.”

There are a little less than 400 park districts in Illinois.

The proposition will appear on the March 18 primary election ballot. Voters who do not wish to declare as a Democrat or Republican can ask for a non-partisan ballot to be able to vote on the proposition. Voters will also be asked to vote for five board members at the same time.