McHenry Township has moved a step closer toward answering a common question related to township elimination: Will it save taxpayers money?
The township earlier this week issued a request for proposal for a cost-benefit analysis that would seek to identify the advantages and drawbacks – both financial and not – of dissolving McHenry Township.
Residents will have a chance to vote on whether McHenry Township and the road district should be abolished, and all of their assets and responsibilities be transferred to McHenry County, through a binding referendum question in March. Some question whether property tax bills actually would decrease if the elimination were to move forward.
Members of a McHenry Township committee want to hire an independent agency to complete the study and issued the request Monday.
“It will be sent out to a number of universities and is also available for any entity to quote as it will also be posted on our website,” Township Supervisor Craig Adams said.
The committee – aptly named the McHenry Township Cost Study Analysis Committee – is composed of Adams; Bob Anderson, a Township Board trustee who has been fighting to abolish townships for decades; Jim Condon, the township highway commissioner; and John Macrito, a township resident and activist who has been fighting to save the township and its services.
The request calls for consultants to analyze the costs and benefits if the county were to take over all services the township currently offers, as well as the costs and benefits if the county were to take over only mandated duties.
A township is mandated to provide a general assistance program, property tax assessments and maintenance of the road district’s roads and bridges.
The request calls for a study that identifies stakeholders in the township and county, the costs involved with every program and service the township provides and proposed “pluses and minuses” of transferring services to McHenry County, including a five-year monetary projection.
The Township Board ultimately will vote on which agency should complete the study, with recommendation from the committee.
Consultants must respond to the request by Nov. 25 to be considered for the project. Committee members want the project to be completed by Feb. 21 and be presented to the board at its Feb. 25 meeting.