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McHenry Township voters to decide on allocation of senior bus funding Friday

Law allows voters to direct supervisor to allocate funding for senior services

McHenry Township voters will have a chance to direct the township supervisor to allocate funding for senior services – such as the senior bus program – at a special meeting on Friday.

The township Board of Trustees voted to do away with the service in June and the program is set to end Nov. 30. Residents have organized and are fighting back against the decision.

A referendum that asks whether the township should maintain and fund the service will appear on the March primary ballot but, right now, residents want to keep the service going at least through March 31 – the end of the fiscal year – and possibly beyond.

Illinois law allows voters to direct the supervisor to allocate funding specifically to pay an agency – either for-profit or nonprofit – to provide services for seniors.

Township resident John Macrito and a handful of others have formed a committee intent on preserving the program.

“We are going to ask for the transfer of funds of $100,000 from reserves to continue the service,” Macrito said Wednesday. “That’s about one-third of the total cost as budgeted for the year.”

The township budgeted $2.1 million in its town fund for its fiscal 2020 budget, which included $303,343 for the senior bus program. Those costs include salaries, contractual services and personnel costs, according to township documents.

The actual cost to run the service last year was $237,976, according to township documents. Those costs were offset by revenues of $59,242. Revenues include grants, vouchers and rider fees, according to township documents.

Trustees at a special meeting earlier this month voted, 3-2, in favor of a request to prepare an amended 2019-20 budget without senior bus program funding once the service ends Nov. 30, which is why residents must request reserve funding to keep the program going, Macrito said.

Township Supervisor Craig Adams previously said he is weighing options to determine which agency could take over the service. He said Wednesday that he hasn’t made a decision yet.

“I’m waiting to see what happens with this meeting and will make the decision after,” he said.

The meeting will take place 7 p.m. Friday at McHenry Township Hall, 3703 N. Richmond Road in Johnsburg.

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