By Tammy Whitacre
LYONS — The Village Board approved the final dissolution plan at its last meeting after making a few minor changes.
The plan, with amendments was approved following a public hearing on Nov. 4, but the village is only halfway through the process. Residents now have 45 days, or Dec. 19, from the final public hearing to file a petition containing signatures of 25 percent of registered village voters for another referendum; otherwise the village will dissolve as per the plan on Dec. 31, 2015. In the event a petition is filed, a second vote on the plan itself will be held. If voters approve the plan, the village will dissolve; if voters do not approve the plan, the village remains as it is.
Under dissolution, village property owners will see a 38 percent decrease in their total tax rate, from $24.76 to $15.28 per $1,000 of assessed value. Residents living outside the village, however, will see a 43 percent increase in their tax rate, from $8.97 to $12.85 per thousand.
Mayor Corrine Kleisle said the changes made were few and mostly in the alternatives to dissolution. Among the changes, however, the board did reinstate the parking enforcement officer at a total cost of $39,000 annually, which will affect the bottom line numbers slightly, she said. Kleisle said the board felt it was unlikely a police officer could fill the role and still maintain his other duties.
The reinstatement comes after residents voiced concerns at a public hearing about the plan — largely from residents outside the village who ultimately have no vote in the matter. One of the concerns expressed by residents was the lack of a crossing guard to help school children crossing the street — a role filled by the parking enforcement officer.
Kleisle said she had heard a petition was circulating that would call for another referendum on the matter. The petition must be turned into the village clerk, who then verifies all the names listed as being registered village voters. If requirements are met for a second vote, the village would have to hold a special election, Kleisle said, which would most likely occur in early 2014.