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News Coverage of Kane Open Space Referendum

Elgin Courier-News
March 17, 2017

Letters to Editor:  Supports land acquisition measure

I support the referendum measure for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County land acquisitions. The forest preserves are an open-space legacy that requires the purchase of land before development. It takes a long-term view to see the value of these open spaces for future generations.

Elgin received gifts of land for Lords and Wing Parks in the late 1800s. The families that made the donations believed that those properties on the outskirts of Elgin would someday become parks surrounded by the city that would be enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.

We as taxpayers have to share the vision of the Forest Preserve District to provide open space, walking trails, and picnic and play areas that will increase recreational opportunities for Elgin residents, by supporting the purchase of the land and its preservation.

Mayor David J. Kaptain, Elgin

Clean water at stake

I grew up swimming and fishing in the Fox River and Blackberry Creek, at least until the polio scare came around. And later, as a teen, when boating and skiing, we had to deal with pollution. Fortunately, the Fox River is much cleaner now.

Few resources are as primary to our survival as clean water. One of the most cost-effective methods of protecting our water resources and drinking water is by preserving the lands along our creeks, streams and rivers. Protecting watershed lands now is much cheaper than cleaning up polluted water later.

On April 4, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County is asking voters to support a $50 million bond referendum to be paid off in 20 years. About 80 percent of the bond money will be spent on acquiring more forest preserve land and the rest on new trails, providing more public access and restoration of wildlife habitat.

Our homes, driveways, roads and parking lots have created more impervious surfaces. This means we can expect to see increases in stormwater runoff. Preserving open space for the future allows the stormwater to soak into the ground and be cleansed as nature intended.

We need to remember that forest preserves not only provide recreational opportunities; they also help ensure a clean water supply and control the effects of stormwater runoff.

This referendum comes at a time when homeowners will already see their taxes go down from paying off previous bonds and refinancing a total tax reduction of $102 per year. Supporting this measure will cost less than $1.83 a month for a home valued at $250,000. That means if this new open-space referendum question passes, everyone still will see their taxes go down, while also preserving an additional 2,000 acres of protected open space and watersheds for families and future generations.

Nancy Hopp, Aurora