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Blackberry Township asks for more money for roads

in Elburn/Regional by

Blackberry Township by the numbers

58 miles
of road, 52 in blacktop, six in gravel

90 percent
of funding to maintain township roads comes from property taxes

1.9 percent
of property tax bill comes to the road district

If referendum passes, a $300,000 home owner pays an extra
$140 per year

75 percent
of Elburn is in Blackberry Township

$50 of every $100
collected comes back to the village of Elburn

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Blackberry Township Road Commissioner Rod Feece during Monday’s Village Board meeting made a plea for a referendum vote to increase the property tax levy for township roads.

According to Feece, the tax rate has been the same for 35 years, and at the current pace of overlaying one to one-and-a-half miles of road per year, he said the township has been “falling further and further behind.”

“We’re at a crucial time,” Feece said.

The township consists of 58 miles of road, 52 of which are blacktop, with six still in gravel. Feece said he hopes to increase the number of miles of blacktop maintained per year to five or six.

Approximately 90 percent of the funding to maintain the township roads comes from property taxes, with the remaining 10 percent from motor fuel taxes, Feece said. The impact of the tax levy increase on a homeowner of a $300,000 home would be an additional $140 in property taxes per year, or just under $12 a month.

Although the township has been successful in obtaining a couple of grants, the money had to be used for specific purposes, such as $210,000 to bridges and $40,000 to build a new barn.

He said he does not plan to hire any additional people, nor will he use the money to purchase extra machinery.

“Everything extra will go to paving,” he said.

Approximately 75 percent of the village of Elburn is within the township, as well as a small portion of North Aurora. Feece said that if a resident pays $100 in taxes to the township, $50 of that comes back to Elburn, and although that money that gets deposited into the general fund, Village President Dave Anderson said that it will be used for streets.

“Nobody wants to pay taxes, but if we do agree as a democracy that we will tax ourselves, it’s visible—we see the result,” Anderson said.

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