February court hearing set for dissolution of Loda Sanitary District

WATSEKA — The proposed dissolution of the Loda Sanitary District will be the focus of a hearing in Iroquois County Circuit Court scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 7 at the courthouse in Watseka.

The hearing was set following last month’s vote of the district’s board of trustees to file a petition in circuit court to proceed with dissolution.

That action was taken after officials for the village of Loda declined to accept the terms of a proposed intergovernmental agreement with the sanitary district’s board, related to how the district’s $15,095 in remaining funds would be split between Loda and the unincorporated community of Bayles Lake — the two communities that comprise the district.

Proposed intergovernmental agreements with the two communities had called for $3,700 to be given to Bayles Lake and $7,436 to be given to Loda, with the remaining balance to be used on administrative and legal fees to wrap up the district’s business.

However, Loda Village Board President Carol Arseneau said in September that she thinks the district owed the village more of its remaining funds than was being offered. The village’s attorney, Dale Strough of Watseka, said the village would like 100 percent of the remaining funds, not just a portion of it.

The sanitary district’s board was hoping both communities would sign off on their respective agreements in order to streamline the court proceedings to dissolve the district.

In October, the sanitary district board’s president, Bayles Lake resident Warren Hamby, said that because no agreement can be reached regarding the division of funds, the board seems to have no choice other than to let a judge decide what is fair.

February’s hearing be held at least 60 days after notice of the hearing is published in both The Gilman Star and Ford County Record, is posted in at least three locations within the district’s boundaries, and is mailed to the president of the Loda Village Board, the president of the Bayles Lake Homeowners Association, the chairman of the Iroquois County Board and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The district was formed in 1972 with the intent of collecting property taxes to help fund sanitary sewer projects for both Loda and Bayles Lake. But years of efforts to bring proposed sanitary sewage treatment plants to fruition have been unsuccessful.

With too little funds to proceed, Loda is no longer even considering a sewage treatment facility — either in conjunction with Bayles Lake or on its own. That has left Bayles Lake independently moving forward with its own treatment plant that would serve only its own residents.

Meanwhile, some Loda residents think it is not fair they have been taxed by the sanitary district when it is serving them no purpose. As a result, the district a few of years ago stopped levying any property taxes.

Location (3):Local, Iroquois County, Loda

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