Rush Twp. seeks replacement levy for cemeteries

Trustees in Champaign County’s Rush Twp. are hoping voters will approve a 0.5-mill, five-year replacement levy that will help cover the costs of maintaining cemeteries in Woodstock and North Lewisburg.

The township sought the same replacement levy in November last year, but voters rejected it by fewer than 20 votes, said Randy Williams, chairman of the Rush Twp. board of trustees.

If approved, the levy would help cover costs for services like basic maintenance, trimming trees, cutting grass and repairs after storms.

The current levy costs voters about $6.48 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home and generates roughly $9,000 for the township, Williams said. If approved, the replacement levy would cost about $15.22 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home and bring in about $15,400 for the township.

Along with outer sources of revenue like sales of lots, the cemeteries generated about $32,000 in income last year, Williams said. But the maintenance expenses were closer to $38,000, he added.

“To close that gap we’ve had to dip into our carryover funds,” Williams said.

Active cemeteries include Maple Grove in North Lewisburg and Woodstock Cemetery in Woodstock. The township also has three inactive cemeteries that do not receive the same level of attention but are cleaned periodically.

The carryover funds are diminishing, making it more difficult for the township to continue maintaining the cemeteries at the current levels unless new revenue is available, Williams said. If voters approve the levy, it would also help keep other costs down, including the price of the lots for example, Williams said.

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