Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board members got an earful Wednesday night from residents of Urbana's Stone Creek subdivision who don't want to be annexed into the transit district.
URBANA -- Champaign-Urbana Mas Transit District board members got an earful Wednesday night from residents of Urbana's Stone Creek subdivision who don't want to be annexed into the transit district.
"We just went through an 11 percent (property) tax increase," said homeowner Gary Mason. "And now we're going to talk about another $300 or $400 on top of that. Maybe we should leave Urbana. This is just another nail in the coffin for living in Urbana. It really is. There's only so much we can do."
MTD Managing Director Bill Volk said the tax increase for the owner of a $300,000 home in Stone Creek would amount to approximately $300 a year. About 150 of the 500-plus lots in the subdivison have homes on them.
Most of the dozen or so people who spoke at the public hearing on the proposed annexation of the 424-acre golf course subdivision were vehemently opposed to being brought into the mass transit district.
"Eight-tenths of the taxes I pay now are for things I don't use," said Steve Burwell. "I don't want my taxes raised any more for something I won't use."
Added Kevin Applebee, "I realize that if we don't want it there's not much we can do or say. If 99 percent of us don't want it, it doesn't matter. You guys have got it worked out."
Applebee suggested that the MTD raise the price of its annual pass.
"The first thing you can do is raise the price of that. Seventy-two dollars a year is a joke," he said.
The MTD's intergovernmental agreement with Urbana, Champaign and Savoy says that once subdivisions are annexed into the municipalities, they have to be brought into the MTD too. The MTD is undertaking two other annexations, one in the Boulder Ridge-Sawgrass area of Champaign and another in the Lake Park subdivision south of Champaign.
A hearing on the Lake Park annexation will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Savoy Recreation Center, 402 Graham Drive, Savoy.
"I feel like this is something that is being pushed on us. It's not something that we want nor do we need," said Brenda Gault. "I didn't come just to make my voice heard. I really expect that what we say here is taken into consideration."
She said that providing service to Stone Creek "is not a good allocation of resources."
The MTD plans to begin service to Stone Creek this fall, with three morning trips and three afternoon trips on the MTD Green Route.
Not everyone was opposed to MTD service in Stone Creek.
"Before I came here tonight I knew that people don't like to pay taxes. The only thing worse is paying more taxes," said Morgan Lynge. "But I also know that things cost money.
"Why do we have to pay for the schools?" he said. "We don't use them. Look at this gray hair. We don't have kids in schools. Why do we have to pay for schools? Why do we have to pay for courts? I hope the MTD will do a good job of finding where the services are wanted and needed in the area and then craft a plan that will satisfy as much as possible."
The board is expected to decide on the annexation later this year.