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Algonquin Township officials unanimously approve $3.66M highway department levy

Algonquin Township officials discuss matters during a meeting in October.
Algonquin Township officials discuss matters during a meeting in October.

Algonquin Township officials unanimously approved Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser’s 2019 tax levy at a special meeting Saturday morning.

The board voted, 3-0, to push forward the $3.66 million levy. Trustees Dave Chapman and Melissa Victor were absent. Gasser did not attend the meeting.

Gasser, who submitted his levy to officials for approval in October, asked to reduce his department’s levy by about $67,000.

Trustees had concerns about the levy and did not approve it. The highway commissioner has not attended a township meeting in months.

Gasser was one of several prominent Republicans in attendance at a hearing Friday in McHenry County court, where McHenry County Clerk and Recorder Joe Tirio learned the names of the people behind a mysterious dark money group called the Illinois Integrity Fund.

The Northwest Herald talked to Gasser about his stance on the township board refusing to pass his levy until the weekend before Christmas.

“I don’t care,” Gasser said.

A look at his proposed levy reveals that Gasser’s request aims to beef up the road district’s general fund – where the highway commissioner later will pull money to stock his budget for legal fees – by almost $270,000.

That number is almost as much as Gasser tried to budget out of the general fund for mounting legal costs last year.

In May, Gasser proposed a legal budget of $250,000, but trustees voted, 4-1, to slash it to $150,000.

Legal fees have become a staple expenditure in Gasser’s office. Since he took office in May 2017, his department has spent more than $400,000 on lawyers.

In total, the highway commissioner requested a department levy of $3.66 million – about $67,000 less than he levied last year.

His proposal shows he made significant cuts to the levy that pulls tax dollars to fund his employees’ pensions, insurance and Social Security.

Although those cuts total $231,447, Gasser wants to grow his general fund levy to $2.7 million.

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