Urban Fold

Rural Water Authority Creation Spurs Controversy

A battle is raging in rural Illinois over a proposed multi-county water authority that would control the use and tax of water within the heavily farmed region. Many farmers fear a loss of control, and developers anticipate more restrictions.

"The dispute is about whether a referendum should be held April 17 to form a sprawling new water authority that would issue water permits to residential, commercial and some other users. It also would have the power to levy taxes."

"At least three groups have hired lawyers to argue against the agency. Farmers fear loss of control over their land, while developers don't want to deal with another level of bureaucracy. The same goes for some municipalities, officials say."

"Supporters say it would protect the natural resources and isn't meant to stop development."

Full Story: Rural battle: Who should control water?

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