Letter: Referendum will protect open-space land

Since 1999, the Kane County Forest Preserve District has purchased more than 10,000 acres of high-quality, ecologically important land with the proceeds from three open-space bond referenda. We have the opportunity to further protect our natural character by voting “yes” again on April 5. Passing this referendum would allow the Forest Preserve to purchase an additional 1,500 to 2,000 acres and qualify us for additional matching grant funds to protect even more land.

For only around $1 per month for an average Kane County home, the new protected open spaces will hold down tax increases required to build, staff and run new schools, police and fire stations and water treatment plants. Taxes from new residential property do not cover the cost of the increased services required, which means that open space is the ultimate tax cap.

Furthermore, now is the time to purchase land from willing sellers as land prices are at their lowest in years. There are beautiful open spaces throughout Kane County for sale at very low prices that would make wonderful forest preserves. The time to act is now.

Open space is not a luxury; we must urgently protect it now. Kane County’s natural areas cannot be replaced, only preserved. Please join me in protecting our natural assets by voting “yes” for the Kane County Forest Preserve Land Acquisition and Preserve Improvement referendum on April 5.

Jon Duerr
Co-Chair
Kane County Neighbors for Open Space, Clean Water and Clean Air
St. Charles