Voters will decide if Spillertown will dissolve - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Voters will decide if Spillertown will dissolve

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Ill. -- Three weeks from now, voters will head to the polls and those in Spillertown will have the option to have their town dissolved. 

Less than 200 people call the Williamson County village home. 

It's located between Marion and Johnston City just off of Route 37.

The question on the ballots reads:

"Shall the municipal corporation of the Village of Spillertown be dissolved?"

One resident told News 3's Emily Manley he doesn't think it will pass and the county is hoping it doesn't either. 

Williamson County Commissioner Brent Gentry says the question on the April ballot for residents of Spillertown could be a burden for the county. 

"We cannot keep going as a county, picking up towns and villages as a county board," Gentry said. "It's impossible." 

The referendum was put on the ballot by a community member who petitioned it. 

"I don't think it's fair to throw it back in the county's lap causing us to scramble around," Gentry said. "We are not in the business to run a little village or a small town."

Back in 2014, Whiteash residents voted to dissolve their village, handing over their financial hardships and infrastructure needs to Williamson County. 

"Obviously they watched what Whiteash did and who's next?" Gentry said. "Is it going to be a snowball effect?"

Dustin Elridge is one of the village's trustees and is one of the many residents against Spillertown dissolving. 

"There are several people in this village that want to remain a village," Elridge said. 

Elridge said he went around to more than 80 homes on Monday handing out a public notice and informing residents about the referendum on the ballot. 

"The best thing to do is to get out and tell people what's going on so they have a chance to get out and vote in order to save the village," Elridge said. 

Elridge says of all the people he talked to, only one wasn't sure if they were going to vote against it.

"There is some worry, but I think the residents, especially down in the village, don't want to see that happen so we will have good results for people showing up," Elridge said. 

Compared to Whiteash, Gentry said Spillertown doesn't have the same type of financial issues, but the village does get their water and sewer from the surrounding towns of Marion and Pittsburgh. 

Gentry did mention those municipalities could have the option to buy Spillertown if the referendum passes. 

Also if it passes, the question could face a legal battle. 

News 3 was told the resident who filed the petition to dissolve the town lives in the Country Meadows subdivision on Link Road recently annexed to become part of Spillertown. 

The state challenged the annex by saying the neighborhood does not touch the rest of the town. 

The village is expected to admit the annex procedure was wrong in court on Wednesday.

This would mean the petitioner should have never been allowed to put a question on the town's ballot. 

Village trustees say if the referendum passes, they could use this fact to challenge the outcome. 

Click here to see the full ballot for Williamson County. 

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