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70 ILCS 405/26a

    (70 ILCS 405/26a) (from Ch. 5, par. 131a)
    Sec. 26a. Any 25 or more owners of lands lying within the boundaries of any district organized under the provisions of this Act may file, with the Department, a petition proposing the consolidation of such district with one or more adjoining soil conservation districts. Such petition shall set forth: (1) the names of the districts proposed to be consolidated, and (2) the proposed name of the consolidated district.
    Within 30 days after such petition is filed the Department shall submit the proposal to the directors of each district proposed to be consolidated. The Directors of each such district, shall within 30 days thereafter, adopt and forward to the Department a resolution approving or disapproving the proposed consolidation.
    If the directors of all of the said districts approve the proposals to consolidate such districts, it shall be the duty of the Department to give 10 days notice of the holding of a referendum by causing such notice to be published at least once in one or more newspapers having general circulation within the district and to hold a referendum within each such district upon the proposition or the proposed consolidation. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the proposition shall be submitted in accordance with Section 28-3 of the Election Code.
    The question at such referendum shall be submitted upon ballots in substantially the following form:
Place an X in the square opposite the proposition for which you desire to vote.
    For approval of the proposed
consolidation of (here insert names
of districts to be consolidated)
into one soil and water
conservation district.
    Against approval of the
proposed consolidation of (here
insert names of districts to be
consolidated) into one soil and
water conservation district.
    Only owners or occupiers of land, or both, lying within the districts are eligible to vote in such referendum and each shall have one vote. Eligible voters may vote in person or by absentee ballot.
    If a majority of the votes cast in the referendum in each of such districts are cast in favor of the proposed consolidation and if the Department determines that such consolidation is administratively practicable and feasible, the Chairmen of the directors of the said districts shall present to the Secretary of State through the Department an application for a certificate of organization of the consolidated district. The application shall be signed and sworn to by all of the said chairmen, and shall set forth the names of the constituent districts, the proposed name of the consolidated district, and the location of the office of the consolidated district. The said application shall be accompanied by the statement from the Department which shall set forth (and such statement need contain no details other than the mere recitals) that a petition for the consolidation of the said district was filed, that the proposed consolidation was, by resolution, approved by the governing bodies of all of such districts, that a referendum was held in each of the said districts on the question of the proposed consolidation, and that the result of such referendum showed a majority of the votes cast in each district to be in favor of the proposed consolidation.
    The Secretary of State shall receive and file such application and statement and shall record them in an appropriate book of record in his office. When the application and statements have been made, filed, and recorded as herein provided, the consolidation of such districts shall be deemed affected and the consolidated district shall constitute a public body, corporate and politic, vested with all the power of soil and water conservation districts. The Secretary of State shall make and issue to the signers of the application a certificate, under the seal of the State, of the due organization of the said consolidated district, and shall record such certificate with the application and statement. A copy of the statement and certificate of organization, duly certified by the Secretary of State, shall be recorded with the recorder of the county in which the office of the consolidated district is located.
    Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Act, if petitions and resolutions to consolidate districts under this Section are filed with the Department before January 1, 2012 and if the Director determines that the consolidation is administratively practicable and feasible, then the Director may approve the consolidation without the necessity of holding a referendum under this Section, which shall be deemed to have the same effect as if the referendum had been held and approved.
    Upon a consolidation of districts, the directors of all such districts shall continue to hold office and serve as a temporary governing body of the consolidated district until the members of a permanent governing body have been elected and have qualified. The provisions of Sections 19, 20 and 21 of this Act that relate to the number, and to the nomination, election and organization of members of the governing bodies of soil and water conservation districts shall govern the selection of the members of the permanent governing body of a consolidated district.
    Upon the issuance, by the Secretary of State, of a certificate of organization to a consolidated district, property belonging to the constituent district shall become the property of the consolidated district. All contracts theretofore entered into, to which the constituent districts are parties, shall remain in force and effect for the period provided in such contracts. The consolidated districts shall be substituted for each constituent district as party to such contracts, and shall be entitled to all benefits and subject to all liabilities under such contracts and shall have the same right and liability to perform, to require performance, to sue and to be sued thereon, and to modify or terminate such contracts by mutual consent or otherwise, as the constituent district would have had. Any indebtedness, claim, demand or right owing or belonging to any of the constituent districts shall vest in and become due to the consolidated district, which shall have the right to demand, sue for, recover and enforce the same in its own name. Upon a consolidation of districts, all land-use regulations theretofore adopted and in force and effect within any of the constituent districts shall remain in force and effect throughout the territory for which they were originally adopted, until repealed, amended, supplemented, or superseded by action of the consolidated district.
(Source: P.A. 97-418, eff. 8-16-11.)