(70 ILCS 410/18.5)
Dissolution of conservation district and creation of forest preserve district.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, if the boundaries of a conservation district are coextensive with the boundaries of one county, then the county board may adopt a resolution to submit the question of whether the conservation district shall be dissolved and, upon the dissolution of the conservation district, a forest preserve district created. The question shall be submitted to the electors of the conservation district at a regular election and approved by a majority of the electors voting on the question. The county board must certify the question to the proper election authorities, which must submit the question at an election in accordance with the Election Code.
The election authorities must submit the question in substantially the following form:
Shall the (insert name of conservation district) be
The election authorities must record the votes as "Yes" or "No".
If a majority of the electors voting on the question vote in the affirmative, then, on the thirtieth day after the results of the referendum are certified, the conservation district is dissolved and the forest preserve district is created. The terms of all trustees of the conservation district are terminated and the county board members shall serve ex officio as the commissioners of the forest preserve district. The chairman of the county board shall serve as chairman of the board of commissioners of the forest preserve district.
(b) Each county board member shall serve ex officio as a commissioner of the forest preserve district until the expiration of his or her term as a county board member or until the member's position on the county board is otherwise vacated. Upon the expiration of the term of any county board member serving as a commissioner or upon the occurrence of any other vacancy on the county board, the office of commissioner shall be filled by that county board member's successor on the county board.
(c) The forest preserve district shall serve as the successor entity to the dissolved conservation district and references to the dissolved conservation district or to its officers or employees in any document, contract, agreement, or law shall, in appropriate contexts, be deemed to refer to the successor forest preserve district. Thirty days after the dissolution of the conservation district, all of its assets, liabilities, property (both real and personal), employees, books, and records are transferred to the forest preserve district by operation of law. All rules and ordinances of the dissolved conservation district shall remain in effect as rules and ordinances of the forest preserve district until amended or repealed by the forest preserve district.
(d) If there are any bonds of the conservation district outstanding and
unpaid at the time the conservation district is dissolved, the forest preserve district shall be
liable for that bond indebtedness and the forest preserve district may continue to levy
and extend taxes upon the taxable property in that territory for the
purpose of amortizing those bonds until such time as the bonds are
(e) The county board members may be reimbursed
for their reasonable expenses actually incurred in performing their official
duties as members of the board of commissioners of the forest preserve district in accordance with the provisions of Section 3a of the Downstate Forest Preserve Act. Any
reimbursement paid under this subsection shall be paid by the forest preserve
(f) A forest preserve district created under this Section shall have the same powers, duties, and authority as a forest preserve district created under the Downstate Forest Preserve District Act, except that it shall have the same bonding and taxing authority as a conservation district under the Conservation District Act. To the extent that any provision of this Section conflicts with any provision of the Downstate Forest Preserve District Act, this Section controls.
(Source: P.A. 94-617, eff. 8-18-05.)