Kankakee River Basin Commission Restructuring Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

A bill to restructure the Kankakee River Basin Commission is headed to the governor for final approval. House Enrolled Act 1270 would cut the number of members from 24 down to nine, but it would also impose a funding mechanism to pay for the new entity.

That could take the form of a special assessment on land parcels: seven dollars for residential land, one dollar per acre for agricultural parcels, two dollars per acre for commercial parcels without structures, $50 for commercial parcels with structures, and $360 for industrial or public utility parcels. That’s estimated to bring in more than $295,000 from Starke County and more than $586,000 from Marshall County. However, each county council would also have the option of passing a resolution to replace some or all of the special assessment with direct payments from other revenue sources.

Those fees would start in 2021. The restructuring itself would take place on July 1 of this year.

The new entity would officially be known as the Kankakee River Basin and Yellow River Basin Development Commission. One member would be appointed by each of the basins’ eight counties. The ninth member would be the director of the Department of Natural Resources or a designee. Kankakee and Iroquois counties in Illinois may appoint nonvoting members.

House Enrolled Act 1270 also calls for state agencies to work together to make it easier to get permits for flood control projects.