EARLVILLE – The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a petition submitted by Village of Earlville residents to hold a vote on a proposed $3.4 million water project stands.
After much debate, it was decided that the proposed water project would go up for a public vote. In August, the Village Board decided to move forward with the water project without automatically holding a public vote. At the time, they said the decision was made to ensure the village would get the funding package offered by USDA. The package included a $500,000 grant and low-interest loan to pay the remainder of the balance at an interest rate of 2.75 percent over a 38-year period.
The village entered a period of permissive referendum after passing a resolution authorizing the issuance of bonds for the capital water improvement project. The permissive referendum gave village residents 30 days to submit a petition signed by 20 percent of registered voters in order to see the project go up for a public vote.
The petition was submitted with 134 signatures, more than the required 20 percent, but within days, the village also received a letter citing several procedural objections to the petition. The letter and the petition were submitted to the Supreme Court, where a judge ruled in favor of the petition.