Dorr Township Planning Committee Recommends Asking Residents Whether to Spend Surplus or Rebate It

Grafton Township resident Tammy Lueht asks Township Trustees why they have not appointed the township planning committee approved at last April's Annual Town Meeting.

At the Monday budget hearing Grafton Township residents asked why a Township Planning Commission had not been appointed. Apparently, applicants were solicited and received. This was also the topic of a motion at the last Annual Meeting of the township’s electors.

Now, McHenry County Blog has discovered that Dorr Township—just to the north of Grafton—has such a Citizens Planning Committee and it made a report last September 1st. The report looks at each of the offices and make recommendations which do not include consolidation of operations in one location.

Dorr Township Hall

It appears township officials have been accumulating funds for the purpose of building a new township complex.

The citizen committee recommends asking residents what to do with it. One option would apparently be building a new township hall (while that description is no where used in the report) or rebating the money through the lowering of levies.

Note that the Dorr Township Supervisor Robert Pierce has concerns about privacy similar to the ones expressed by Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore.

I thought others might find it of interest.

TRANSMISSION MEMORANDUM

TO: Dorr Township Board of Trustees

FROM: Dorr Township Citizens Planning Committee

SUBJECT: Report of Recommendation

DATE: Submitted to the Board on September 1, 2009
CC: Township Officials

All recommendations with the exception of those for the Road Commissioner are considered short term while the economy remains unsettled and tax revenues decline. The goal is to use current facilities more efficiently while providing essential town services. Every entity – both private and governmental – is trying to be more resourceful and work within current constraints.

We took the mission to

“…to assist the Dorr Township Board of Trustees to determine whether new facilities are required to carry out its township functions and programs efficiently and to help prepare a presentation to the Dorr Township Board of Trustees, as well as to the citizens of Dorr Township”.

Attached hereto are our recommendations.

We request that the Board of Trustees respond to our recommendations in writing to the various committee members by October 21, 2009. The committee members’ list is attached.

DORR TOWNSHIP CITIZENS PLANNING COMMITTEE


Report of Recommendations – September 8, 2009

I. Assessor

Findings: The committee unanimously agrees that the current space is inadequate. This office has the most client volume and an increase in workload is anticipated. In the interest of client service, it would be ideal to provide a counter with monitors allowing easy access to property records thereby reducing on staff involvement.

Suggested Solutions:

1. Reconfigure current space eliminating the board room in favor of increasing assessor’s square footage. Modify the space to include a counter. Utilize the back door for ingress. Board meetings could be held elsewhere – banks holding township funds, for example.

2.Rent commercial space.

II. Township Clerk

Findings: The clerk has no township work space or dedicated storage and currently schedules herself to access the office during off hours. She should be provided with a computer linked to the printer and necessary supplies for use at her convenience during business hours. She should also be reimbursed for all business expenses including the cost of refreshments for town clerk meetings.

Suggested Solutions: The committee unanimously agrees that space be found to accommodate her needs and that all election material, township business records, as well as road district records be consolidated in fire-resistant storage boxes at the office.

1. Utilize a section of the board room if it is not reconfigured to meet the assessor’s needs.

2. A corner of Sue Brokaw’s office could be used.

While the concern the clerk voiced about a deputy clerk is not within our purview, we recommend an opinion be solicited from the township’s current lawyer. The previous lawyer considered the drafting of Sue Brokaw to function in the clerk’s stead a conflict of interest.

III.Road Commissioner

Dorr Township Garage

Findings: Although the Commissioner appreciates the desire to consolidate all town functions in one location, he also feels that the current garage facilities are well placed to allow personnel to reach all segments of town roads without going through the center to town. Concern was also expressed about mixing the public and heavy equipment. The committee believes environmental mitigation is required to address salt runoff into the adjacent wetlands and eventually into the underlying aquifers and groundwater.

Suggested Solutions:

The committee recommends that the facility should stay where it is
with the following changes:

1. Construct a salt dome to fit on the current site. The mixing of salt with other components should be done in such a way as to eliminate any potential for leaching into adjacent wetlands. We also strongly suggest that the supermix anti-ice liquid developed by Mark DeVries for the county be thoroughly investigated because it reduces salt usage. Last winter Algonquin Township used 2100 tons of salt for 60 miles while Dorr Township used 3100 tons for 35 miles of road.

Make necessary repairs to the salt building to convert it to cold storage and consider adding block ‘n’ roll doors. This would respond to the concern of storing mowers should the old Farm & Fleet building be sold.

Determine electrical needs and arrange for necessary repairs and/or upgrades.

The barn needs cleaning, painting and paneling and would be enhanced by the installation of skylights.

Remove all non-essential items including engine blocks, tires, etc.

Buy a flammable fuel containment storage unit and install floor pans under inside
units. This is an EPA requirement.

If space is at a premium, consider eliminating salt storage for other entities.

IV. Supervisor

Concerns were expressed about confidentiality relative to General Assistance applications and lack of space to offer additional programs. While the Supervisor has enumerated programs he would like to offer, no space requirements or financial costs for these programs have been determined.

Suggested Solutions:

1. The confidentiality concern would be resolved if the Assessor’s office and entrance are separated from the front desk.

2.Relocate the Supervisor to shared space with Sue Brokaw.

3.Modify the existing Supervisor’s office to include a partitioned counter.

V. Town Hall

The Supervisor has indicated that the physical plant requires some upgrading such as window replacement and heating/ac update.

Township Outreach:

A questionnaire should be developed and sent to township
residents. We suggest the following concerns:

1.Seek input regarding desired programs for youth, seniors and all ages

2.Ask if different business hours are desirable

3. Present taxpayer constituents with financial options ranging from spending the accumulated funds to rebates and lowering of levies.

Report submitted by: Dorr Township Citizens Planning Committee
Ted Andersen
Lynde Anderson
Jane L. Collins
Steve Kaiser
Quinn Keefe
Caryl Lemanski
Diane Range Magnuson
Kelli Myers
Vivian Sodini


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