For the past couple of election cycles, the Alliance for Land, Agriculture and Water has asked McHenry County Board candidates to complete questionnaires.
Here are the questions for this year:
ALAW Primary Election Survey, 2016 February 12, 2016
1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Volatile organic compounds used in manufacturing processes and found in cleaning solvents have contaminated the groundwater at the site of Arnold Engineering, Inc. operating on property owned by 300 West LLC in Marengo.. The groundwater is close to the surface in that location and infiltration rates are high. The contamination reportedly could reach as far as the Kishwaukee River. Since groundwater does not stay in one place, we can assume that all water users tapping into the contaminated aquifer are at risk as well. Arnold Engineering and 300 West are under court order in a case filed in June 2013, to submit a remedial action plan. It appears from the record that the contamination goes back to 2008, but was not addressed at that time. Currently bottled water is being provided to the area residents. At least one farmer is moving because he has been ordered by the EPA to not irrigate his crops. The Illinois EPA has established a webpage, http://www.epa.illinois.gov/topics/community-relations/sites/arnold-magnetic-technologies/index. The property is in unincorporated McHenry County.
1. What responsibility does the County have to safeguard the environmental wellbeing of the land and people from harm caused by manufacturing operations that it zones and permits? (25 words)
2. New rural development costs more for the extension of infrastructure (roads, water, sewer and services) than it brings to the County in taxes and those extra costs are passed on to the existing taxpayers. Would you support requiring new development to be located in or adjacent to existing infrastructure?
3. County studies have been predicting serious water shortages for years as our aquifers become depleted, but the County has done very little to slow the “March of the Red Townships.” (see attachment–seen at right) What do you foresee as a solution when the aquifers reach levels that can no longer support existing development in these areas? What do you see as a way to avoid this crisis? (50 words)
4. By protecting agricultural lands and soil resources, groundwater and its natural recharge can also be protected. If elected, will you support permanent protection of agricultural land and the agricultural industry in the County?
5. Population in McHenry County has declined for the fourth year in a row. With that in mind do you support the multi-million plan to expand 3½ miles of Randall Road, including the intersection at Route 62? Do you see a measurable benefit to taxpayers both local and countywide who are footing the bill in large part?
6. During past primary elections, candidates for county offices voluntarily filled out the ALAW initiated Addendum to Statement of Economic Interests BEFORE the election. This form is now required once you are elected, but filing it now with us is entirely voluntary. ALAW will not endorse any candidate who does not fill out the form. Will you fill out and file your form with us now? (Form attached with mailing instructions.)
___yes (attached) ___ no