BLOOMINGTON — From property taxes to garbage haulers, voters in several rural communities can weigh in on local government functions through referenda on the Nov. 6 ballot in McLean County.
In Bellflower Township, voters will be asked whether maximum tax rates used for road and bridge maintenance should double from $0.165 for every $100 of assessed value to a maximum rate to $0.33 for every $100 of assessed value.
If approved, the increase would mean a $150,000 house could be taxed a maximum of about $165 to pay for road and bridge work, double what the previous maximum would have been.
The rate this year was below the maximum, at $0.145, but township highway commissioner Marion Shelton said the increase is needed to keep up with rising fuel and material costs. This year’s rate brought in about $27,241 for the road and bridge fund.
“We tried to go as long as we could without doing it,” he said. “If we don’t get some more money we’ll start deciding which one of these blacktop roads wants to go back to gravel.”
He said the township maintains about 70 miles of roads.
In Towanda, a referendum question could result in the end of what some consider an antiquated election practice.
Currently, the Village Board is elected during a spring municipal election, but candidates first are nominated during a caucus.
That system has become a challenge as residents’ lives become busier and busier, said village attorney Hunt Henderson.
“To get people to show up for that process I think has gotten more difficult and unwieldy over the years,” Henderson said. “People are busy with their kids in school and all that.”
If the referendum is approved, candidates would be nominated by petition.
The Stanford Village Board is asking voters to say whether they want the village, rather than each individual resident, to contract with a garbage and recycling hauler.
Village President John Owen said the advisory question is the result of residents asking for recycling service, which he said they do not get from two private haulers that serve the area.
Residents covered by the Northern Piatt Fire Protection District will be asked if the district’s trustees should be elected rather than appointed. The district is located in Piatt, Dewitt, McLean and Champaign counties.