A resolution brought forward by Algonquin Township Trustee Rachael Lawrence to put a referendum abolishing the township’s road district on the next general election ballot was shot down during Wednesday’s board meeting.
If the resolution had passed and the ensuing referendum put on the ballot also were passed, the highway department would have been eliminated as a taxing body and the elected highway commissioner position would have been eliminated; however, no road services would have been lost.
“This is not a save-a-buck proposal,” Lawrence said. “This is about oversight and good government.”
The resolution was rejected by a 1-4 vote, with Lawrence the only supporter.
Trustee Melissa Victor said the measure would give voters the opportunity to change road district operations but would take their voice away in the long run by preventing them from voting for or against future highway commissioners.
Hearings to adopt the Algonquin Township and Algonquin Township Highway Department budgets for fiscal 2020, which were on Wednesday’s agenda, were pushed back a month.
Under state statute, a notice of a budget hearing must be given by publication in a newspaper published in the township at least 30 days before the time of the hearing.
However, Algonquin Township Supervisor Charles Lutzow said there was an administrative error and no confirmation can be found that a public notice was sent out in time. Therefore, in order to remain compliant with the budget process, Lutzow said the township and road district budgets will be considered during the township board’s June 12 meeting.
According to the tentative budget, township revenues will increase by about $28,000 over last year while expenditures will decrease by about $2,300. The end balance is estimated to be almost $776,000.
Total revenues for the road district are proposed to be $366,000 more than the fiscal 2019 budget, jumping from about $1.7 million to slightly more than $2.1 million. Including the road district’s existing fund balance, about $2.78 million will be available this fiscal year.
Road district expenditures total an estimated $2.4 million, about $200,000 more than last year.