People who live in flood plains now have the option to join together into special districts to fight off future disasters. House Bill 2583 went into effect on August 23rd allowing for water conservancy districts to expand by voter referendum. Sponsored by 106th district representative Tom Bennett along with 13 other sponsors including Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer expands the districts from the original bill that passed in 2005.
Davidsmeyer says its a way for districts effected by flooding to work together.
“They always talk about Illinois having a lot of taxing bodies but it’s one of those where people can vote to join any conservancy district so those taxes can be used to help mitigate flood waters and other water issues. It has to be done through a referendum, so the general public has to vote to be added into this, so they are basically voting to put their tax dollars toward helping with the problems they are having. Obviously with all the flooding we have had in my district, anytime that people want to step up and take care of it themselves by joining together, I don’t have a problem with it as long as they are making that decision.”
The districts can now cross counties and via a voter approved referendum can work to mitigate future flooding along Illinois’ river basins. Davidsmeyer said that he hopes that it places the power back into the hands of citizens who often bare the brunt of disasters in the conservancy districts like the one he represents.