Levies pass months after rejection

Three Champaign County township issues approved Tuesday.

The townships went back to voters Tuesday for the levies that failed in November because, officials said, the townships wouldn’t be able to maintain the same level of service for residents without the revenues to pay those contracts.

Jackson Twp. voters agreed to two levies for ambulance services and for maintaining fire apparatus, appliances, buildings and sites, and payment of volunteer firefighting companies to operate the same.

“(I’m) thrilled to death, as much a property owner in the township as a trustee, because we need our fire and EMT services,” Trustee Steve Runkle said of the levies’ passage. “If they would have failed, we would have to do some serious negotiating and could have possibly lost our EMT services and the fire (services).”

The 1.5-mill fire levy will replace a current 1-mill property tax and increase it by 0.5 mill, and the 0.5-mill ambulance services replacement levy included an additional 0.5 mills.

They will cost the owner of a $100,000 home a combined $43 additional each year for a total of $79, according to the Champaign County Auditor’s Office.

Voters last year rejected those issues by 64 and 30 votes, respectively, according to the Champaign County Board of Elections.

“I don’t think people realize(d) that, if we can’t contract on the fire side, how much their homeowner’s insurance would go up,” Runkle added.

Union Twp. also asked residents to reconsider the replacement of a 1.5-mill fire services levy and increase it by 2.5 mills for a total 4 mills.

“The people realize(d) what is at stake is very important and vital, and (this) affords us the opportunity to provide the safety and protection that the township so desperately needs,” Trustee Ron Williams said.

“Now we are able to look at being able to provide that protection without a cost to the homeowners, and that is a very important thing to all of us in the township.”

Residents of Union Twp. who own a $100,000 home will pay an additional $101 per year for a total of $126 per year, according to the auditor’s office.

Union Twp. residents rejected that levy in November by 55 votes, according to the board of elections.

“I would like to definitely thank the people of the township for stepping up to the plate and coming forward and making sure that we’re growing with the rest of the townships and what we need,” Williams said.

Complete results appear on this page or at SpringfieldNewsSun.com.

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