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LNNLRCD Ordinance, Amendments & Resolutions


In April 2002, the LNNLRCD approved an ordinance governing their properties and operations - it is a working document - continually amended as needed. Click Here for a copy of the latest LNNLRCD ordinance. The RCD also enacts resolutions as needed, which they approve at their open board meetings. Click Here for a copy of all of the resolutions that the RCD has approved through to the present.

Legal Authority

The RCD was formed under the Special Districts River Conservancy District Validation Act (70 ILCS 2110/). This is "an act authorizing the formation of River Conservancy Districts and giving such districts power to effectuate river and flood control, drainage, irrigation, conservation, sanitation, navigation, recreation, development of water supplies and the protection of fish life."

Special Districts - River Conservancy Districts Act - (70 ILCS 2105) gives the RCD the following rights (these are just a portion and not to be considered exclusive or all inclusive):

• All courts in this State shall take judicial notice of the existence of all conservancy districts organized under this Act. The RCD can create resolutions and ordinances that are legally binding.

• Additional territory may be added to any conservancy district.

• The board of trustees shall exercise all of the powers and control the affairs and property of the district.

​• All ordinances imposing any penalty or making any appropriations shall within one month after they are passed, be published at least once in a newspaper published in said district; and no such ordinance shall take effect until ten days after it is so published, and all other ordinances and resolutions shall take effect from and after their passage unless otherwise provided therein.


• Sec. 9b. The board of trustees of any conservancy district shall in addition to the other powers and duties by this Act conferred and imposed have the following powers and duties:

(a) In order to effect the protection, reclamation or irrigation of the land and other property in the district, and to accomplish all other purposes of the district, the board of trustees is authorized and empowered to clean out, straighten, widen, alter, deepen or change the course or terminus of any ditch, drain, sewer, river, water course, pond, lake, creek or natural stream in or out of the district; to fill up any abandoned or altered ditch, drain, sewer, river, water course, pond, lake, creek or natural stream, and to concentrate, divert or divide the flow of water in or out of the district; to construct and maintain main and lateral ditches, sewers, canals, levees, dikes, dams, sluices, revetments, reservoirs, holding basins, floodways, pumping stations and siphons, and any other works and improvements deemed necessary to construct, preserve, operate or maintain the works in or out of the district; to construct or enlarge or cause to be constructed or enlarged any and all bridges that may be needed in or out of the district; to construct or elevate roadways and streets; to construct any and all of the works and improvements across, through or over any public highway, canal, railroad right of way, track, grade, fill or cut, in or out of the district; to remove or change the location of any fence, building, railroad, canal, or other improvements in or out of the district; and shall have the right to hold, encumber, control, to acquire by donation, purchase or condemnation, to construct, own, lease, use and sell real and personal property, including the transfer of real property by gift to the State of Illinois, and any easement, riparian right, railroad right of way, canal, cemetery, sluice, reservoir, holding basin, mill dam, water power, wharf or franchise in or out of the district for right of way, holding basin or for any necessary purpose, or for material to be used in constructing and maintaining the works and improvements, to replat or subdivide land, open new roads, streets and alleys, or change the course of an existing one.

Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to authorize, nor shall the board have the right or authority to furnish water power or electricity for public or private use or otherwise, except only for the operation of the works and instrumentalities of the District; nor shall the board have any power to sell, or otherwise dispose of the waters so collected and impounded except only as otherwise herein permitted.

(b) The board shall have the power and it shall be its duty to supervise, regulate and control the flow within the boundaries of the District of the waters of any river, stream or water course over and through any and all dams and other obstructions, if any, now or hereafter existing or constructed in, upon or along any such river, stream or water course; provided however, that nothing in this paragraph contained shall empower any conservancy district to abridge or in any manner curtail any vested water power rights or other rights.

(c) The board shall have the power and it shall be its duty to construct and efficiently maintain a fish-way or fish-ways through or over any and all dams or other obstructions to the flow of any river, stream or water course within the boundaries of the District, which shall be so constructed and maintained as to permit the free passage of fish over such dam or dams or other obstructions.

(d) The board shall have the power, if it shall find it conducive to the public health, comfort or convenience to acquire sufficient lands contiguous to its reservoir or reservoirs for the establishment of recreational grounds and the right to permit such reservoir or reservoirs to be used for recreational purposes and to construct on such grounds a building or buildings and other improvements for such recreational purposes; provided however, that nothing in this paragraph contained shall in any way interfere with the drainage or other use of such reservoir or reservoirs for the purpose of controlling, regulating and augmenting the flow of rivers, streams or water courses of the District.

(e) In the event that any power or powers, authority or authorities given or granted in any paragraph or section of this Act shall be held to be void, such holding or holdings shall not be construed to in any manner affect the validity of any other part or portion of this Act or this Act in its entirety. (Source: P.A. 86-129.)

• Such conservancy district may acquire by purchase, condemnation or otherwise any and all real and personal property, right of way and privileges whether within or without its corporate limits that may be required for its corporate purposes; and in case any district formed hereunder shall be unable to agree with any person or party upon the terms and amounts for which it may desire to acquire or purchase any such property, it may proceed to acquire the same in accordance with the terms and provisions of this Act.

• Sec. 11. (1) The board of trustees of a conservancy district incorporated under this Act may acquire, by gift, purchase or lease, land or any of the facilities enumerated below, and may construct, develop, operate, extend and improve such facilities:

(a) Dams and reservoirs for water storage, water wells, water purification works, pumping stations, conduits, pipe lines, regulating works and all appurtenances required for the production and delivery of adequate and pure water to incorporated cities and villages, corporations and persons in unincorporated areas within or without the borders of the conservancy district. The board is empowered and legally obligated to build, operate and maintain such water facilities, to adopt and enforce ordinances for the protection of water sources, and to sell water to the incorporated cities and villages and the corporations and persons in unincorporated areas by meter measurements and at rates that will at least defray all fixed, maintenance and operating expenses.

(b) Sewage treatment plants, collector, interceptor, and outlet sewers, force mains, conduits, lateral sewers and extensions, pumping stations, ejector stations, and all other appurtenances, extensions, or improvements necessary or useful and convenient for the sanitary collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage and industrial wastes. The board may prohibit and disconnect storm water drains and outlets where necessary to relieve existing sanitary sewers of storm water loads in order to assure the efficient and sanitary collection, treatment, and disposal of sewage and industrial wastes. The board is empowered and legally obligated to establish rates and charges for the services of any such sewerage facilities that at least defray all fixed, maintenance, and operating expenses.

(c) Lodges, cottages, trailer courts, and camping grounds, marinas and related facilities for the accommodation and servicing of boats, tennis courts, swimming pools, golf courses, skating rinks, skeet ranges, playgrounds, stables, bridle paths, and athletic fields, picnic grounds and parking areas, convention and entertainment centers, and other related buildings and facilities for the accommodation and recreation of persons visiting the reservoirs owned by the district or from which it is drawing a supply of water. Any such facilities, when acquired, may be leased by the board to a responsible person, firm, or corporation for operation over a period not longer than 20 years from the date of the lease, or the board may lease, for a period not longer than 50 years from the date of the lease, land to a responsible person, firm, or corporation for development for any of the foregoing recreational purposes and may grant to such person, firm or corporation the right, at the option of the person, firm or corporation, to extend the lease for a period not longer than 50 years from the expiration of the original lease. If the board determines to operate any such recreational facilities, it shall establish for the revenue-producing facilities rates and charges which at least defray all fixed, maintenance, and operating expenses.

Further, for such purposes, the authorized board shall have the express power to execute a note or notes and to execute a mortgage or trust deed to secure the payment of such notes; such trust deed or mortgage shall cover real estate, or some part thereof, or personal property owned by the District and the lien of the mortgage shall apply to the real estate or personal property so mortgaged by the District, and the proceeds of the note or notes may be used for the purposes set forth in this Section.

For purposes of this Section, the authorized board shall not execute notes bearing a rate of interest that exceeds the rate permitted in "An Act to authorize public corporations to issue bonds, other evidences of indebtedness and tax anticipation warrants subject to interest rate limitations set forth therein", approved May 26, 1970, as now or hereafter amended.

• Sec. 11.5. Public development projects.

(a) The board of trustees of a river conservancy district located in one or more counties may enter into lease agreements for the development of projects that are intended to enhance economic development, create jobs, and increase tourism. These projects include tourism development projects including, but not limited to, resorts, motels, and other related service and tourism development, built by private developers under the conditions set forth in this Section.

(b) The board of trustees of a river conservancy district may enter into future agreements for the transfer of certain lands between a State agency or agencies and a river conservancy district.

(c) A board of trustees authorized to enter into lease agreements under the requirements of subsection (a) may lease land to a responsible person, firm, or corporation for a period not longer than 50 years for development as authorized in this Section and grant the person, firm, or corporation the option to extend the lease for subsequent periods not longer than 50 years.
Sec. 13. All the rights and property of said district in the waters and water courses of said district and in their uses as herein specified, shall be exercised and used in such manner as to promote the welfare of said district and the inhabitants thereof, and to promote the safest, most economical and reasonable use of the waters thereof, and to pay the cost of the construction and maintenance of improvements in so far as practicable.

• Any conservancy district organized under this Act may borrow money for corporate purposes and may issue bonds therefore, but shall not become indebted in any manner, or for any purpose, to an amount in the aggregate to exceed 5% of the valuation of taxable property therein to be ascertained by the last assessment for State and county taxes previous to the incurring of such indebtedness.

• Every such conservancy district is authorized to construct, maintain, alter and extend its sewers, pipelines, channels, ditches and drains along, upon, under and across any highway, street, alley or public ground in the State as a proper use of highways, but so as not to incommode the public use thereof, and the right and authority are hereby granted to any such district to construct, maintain and operate any conduits, main pipe or pipes, wholly or partially submerged, buried, or otherwise, in, upon and along any of the lands owned by said State and under any of the public waters therein; Provided, that the extent and location of the lands and waters so to be used and appropriated shall be approved by the Governor of said State of Illinois, upon application duly made to him asking for such approval: And provided further, that the rights, permission and authority hereby granted shall be subject to all public rights of commerce and navigation, and to the authority of the United States in behalf of such public rights and also to the right of said State of Illinois to regulate and control fishing in said public waters.

• The board of trustees of any conservancy district incorporated under this Act shall have the power to build and construct and to defray the costs and expenses of the construction of drains, sewers, or laterals, septic tanks and other works for the disposal of sewage, water pipes, streets and roads, or local shore improvements, together with other necessary adjuncts thereto, including pumps and pumping stations and also may construct dams, deepen or improve the channel, bed, banks or shore or shores or any part thereof of any stream, water course or other body of water in such district, and acquire both real and personal property, in the execution or in furtherance of the powers granted to such conservancy district, by special assessment or by general taxation, or by special service area taxation if authorized as provided under this Section, as they by ordinance shall prescribe.

• When any special assessment is made under this Act, the ordinance, authorizing such assessment may provide that the entire assessment and each individual assessment be divided into annual installments, not more than twenty in number.

• In the execution of the powers herein granted and the duties vested in the Board of Trustees of districts organized under this Act, such districts may cooperate and enter into agreements with the proper agencies of the United States Government, Municipal Corporations of this State, political subdivisions and persons and associations, for the formulation of plans, and for the construction of any and all improvements for the control of destructive floods, and for the conservation, regulation, development and utilization of water, waterways and water resources, or other purposes of this Act.


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