PEORIA — The business of establishing the Chillicothe Community Fire District did not conclude with last year's voter approval to form the district.
An inadvertent omission of two small sections of a precinct in Medina Township from last year's spring ballot means voters in those sections will be given the choice to join the district by approving a March 20 primary ballot initiative. They are the only voters who will see the item on their ballots.
"ANNEXATION OF CERTAIN TERRITORY TO THE CHILLICOTHE COMMUNITY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT," reads the beginning of the entry that will only appear on ballots taken by voters in those Medina Township sections. "For joining or against joining the Chillicothe Community Fire District and assuming a proportionate share of bonded indebtedness, if any. (Vote for joining or against joining.)"
"It's about correcting the error that a lawyer noticed from last year," Dan Thompson, fire district chief, said Monday. "It makes it legal."
The error was in the information provided to the Peoria County Election Commission, according to the election commission.
Last April, voters in the townships surrounding the city of Chillicothe agreed 744 to 329 to increase their property taxes to pay for fire protection. The vote created the fire district, gave it taxing authority, and eliminated the collection of the voluntary payment of $80 a year.
The district serves 9,000 people in a 100-square mile area in parts of Chillicothe, Hallock and Medina townships in Peoria County and parts of LaPrairie and Steuben townships, including the village of Hopewell, in Marshall County.
Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @scotthilyard on Twitter.