Champaign County voters reject historical society, other new levies

People cast their votes at a Springfield election poll Tuesday. Bill Lackey/Staff
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People cast their votes at a Springfield election poll Tuesday. Bill Lackey/Staff

Champaign County residents voted to reject a levy to increase funding for the Champaign County Historical Society that would’ve kept its museum open more often.

The .3-mill levy failed according to final, unofficial results.

It would’ve cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $10.50 a year and brought in about $200,000 in income per year for the historical society, President Dan Walter said.

“Obviously, we need to do a better job getting our message out,” Walter said.

The organization hoped to increase the number of days the museum is open to the public from two to five or six, he said, and hire a curator to manage it. Now, he said, it will continue to be run by volunteers.

“We have heard nothing but positive comments on the street,” he said. The society will regroup to see if it can pass the levy in a future election.

St. Paris Police Levy

St. Paris residents voted to reject a levy for the village’s police department on Tuesday, according to final, unofficial results.

The 4.9 mill levy would’ve allowed the village to hire more full-time officers, Mayor Joe Reneer said.

RELATED: Champaign County museum seeks levy to maintain collection, add hours

“This forces council to go back to the drawing board to see what other options they have,” he said.

It would have brought in $114,000 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $171.50 per year, according to Champaign County Auditor Karen Bailey.

The village has relied on part-time officers since its police chief recently retired, Reneer said, and it may be difficult to continue to provide 24-hour police coverage to residents now. It still remains a priority to him to ensure the village has a police department.

Other issues on the St. Paris ballot:

• Voters denied a question to allow the village to enter into an agreement to aggregate all electricity services with one company.

•Voters denied a question to allow the village to enter into an agreement to aggregate all gas services with one company.

Urbana Charter Amendments

Urbana residents approved several charter amendments on the ballot Tuesday, according to final, unofficial results. They are:

•An amendment to allow the city to transfer small properties that aren’t of use to the city without going through the state’s required process of advertising and accepting bids.

•An amendment to the city’s reading requirements that permits the city council to pass emergency legislation after only one reading.

•An amendment to allow legislation passed on the first reading to go into effect immediately.

•An amendment to allow the city to publish all ordinances and resolutions online.

•An amendment to remove language in the job descriptions of the city administrator, director of law and director of finance that requires them to reside in the city of Urbana.

•An amendment to require alternate board members appointed by the mayor on each of the city boards.