Voters approve merger of Naperville, Lisle township road districts

Residents in Naperville and Lisle townships voted Tuesday to combine their road districts into a single unit of government.

Final unofficial vote totals show the merger winning approval from 56.5 percent of voters in Naperville Township and 54.5 percent from Lisle Township.

Supporters said the merger will allow the townships to continue road maintenance savings already being achieved through an intergovernmental agreement approved in August between the two districts. They say the merger will save about $800,000 to $1.4 million a year on services such as snow plowing, street sweeping and collection of brush and leaves.

Creation of the single road district will be a four-year process, officials said.

Highway commissioners and township supervisors now will evaluate properties, equipment and reserves and organize the governance of the new district.

In the 2021 election, voters in both townships will elect a highway commissioner to oversee the broader unit, which would maintain roughly 64 centerline miles of roads - 48 in what now is Lisle Township and 16 in Naperville Township.

"The key selling point from my perspective," Naperville Township Supervisor Rachel Ossyra said during the campaign, "is the opportunity to create permanent tax savings for residents of two townships, while providing excellent services and at the same time reducing the complexity of government."

Naperville Township residents' taxes stand to increase because they are taxed at a lower rate for road services than Lisle Township residents. Those rates mean the owner of a $300,000 house in Naperville Township pays $26.88 a year for road services, and the owner of a $300,000 house in Lisle Township pays roughly $66.45 a year.

Officials say they will now work to lower the tax increase for Naperville Township residents by selling assets and drawing down reserves during the four-year transition period. Proceeds from any Naperville Township assets sold - likely including the garage at 31W331 North Aurora Road - would be credited back to the district's taxpayers.

Lisle Township residents, meanwhile, stand to see their taxes lowered by $24 a year from the $66.45 owed now by the owner of a $300,000 house. Those savings are expected to start after the four-year transition period has concluded and the merged unit has been formed.

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