ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP – The success of the Fox River and Countryside Fire Protection District tax increase will hinge on 13 outstanding mail-in votes in Kane County and an unknown number in DuPage County.
The district requested an increase of 16.82 cents, which would have increased the tax rate to 43.52 cents from 26.7 cents per $100 equalized assessed valuation on the April 2 consolidated election ballot.
The vote totals in Kane County were 876 yes to 907 no, but fire district attorney Kenneth Shepro said that number comes to 898 when adding in 22 yes votes from the district’s DuPage County precincts.
“That’s nine votes,” Shepro said.
The district’s request for a 16-cent increase failed by 32 votes last November. Last spring, it lost by 30 votes.
Kane County election officials have 14 days from the election to count vote-by-mail ballots, officials said.
Shepro said he is hopeful the outstanding mail-in ballots will turn the loss into a win for the district.
“Most of them are from Wayne residents who go south for the winter and mail in their ballots,” Shepro said. “They have voted 60-40 in favor of the fire district referendum in the past.”
Fire officials have said the increase would bring in about $1.5 million in revenue that the district needs to replace aging equipment, hire more firefighters and pay them more so they stay.
The district serves areas of St. Charles and Campton townships and the villages of Campton Hills and Wayne.