$10 Million to Expedite Randall Road Land Purchase Rejected

The McHenry County Transportation Committee rejected the staff proposal to approve spending $10 million to “expedite” right-of-way purchase for an expansion of Randall Road.

The article announcing proposal can be found here. Also contained in the article is how $5.7 million of the money could be used to replace property tax dollars in law enforcement.  That could lead to about a 13% cut in county government’s portion of the real estate tax bill.

At this morning’s Transportation Committee meeting, the vote was 4-3 to disapprove the release of the $10 million.

People were demonstrating at the intersection of Algonquin and Randall Roads before the County Board voted to approve the project.

People were demonstrating at the intersection of Algonquin and Randall Roads before the County Board voted to approve the project.

Voting against the proposal were

  • Diane Evertsen
  • Jeff Thorsen
  • John Hammerand
  • Nick Provenzano

Voting in favor of spending the money were

  • Tina Hill
  • Don Kopsel
  • Anna May Miller, Chairwoman

It is relevant that Thorsen was put on the committee when Ken Koehler resigned from the County Board to accept Joe Gottemoller’s appointment to serve on the Metra Board.


Comments

$10 Million to Expedite Randall Road Land Purchase Rejected — 34 Comments

  1. The one of biggest parts of the conversation was getting more $$$$ from LITH and Alg to support the program.

    Some questioned the need of course.

    Both Alg and LITH officials were there lobbying for some kind of change to relieve the waiting time.

    There seemed to be allot of revisiting points already discussed which seemed a tad wasteful of at times.

  2. Woodstock-area T-bone crash sends 1 person to hospital, fire official says
    Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 11:52 a.m. CDT

    WOODSTOCK – A T-bone crash near Woodstock at Charles and Raffel roads sent one person to the hospital Wednesday, a fire official said.

    Woodstock Fire Rescue District Captain Scott Nieman said the department responded about 10:45 a.m. to the intersection where a vehicle westbound Charles Road hit a vehicle southbound Raffel Road.

    The driver of the westbound vehicle was transported to Centegra Hospital – Woodstock with injuries that were not considered to be life threatening, Nieman said. He said there were no passengers in either vehicle.

    Nieman could not provide more information on the drivers or cause of the crash. He said the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department also responded.

    The McHenry County Sheriff’s Department could not be immediately reached for comment.

    A $2.6 million project to replace the intersection of Charles and Raffel roads with a roundabout was sent back to the Transportation Committee by McHenry County Board members on Tuesday.

    Improving the intersection has been on the county’s five-year highway improvement plan since 2009.

  3. When a few $$$$ is more important than safety that is what happens.

    I was at the meeting pitching to at least a speed reduction, to deaf ears.

    Those deaf ears voted against the change Tue at the board meeting.

    I told them so and to many of you negative commentators out there also.

    You’re all lucky there wasn’t a death there yet.

  4. Cal, I didn’t take notes, so my info may be flawed.

    The vote against Randall mirrored the vote against Charles Rd.

    There was a long discussion on none dedicated roads also.

    Worried about forms for signing up, trying to cover every possibility which of course isn’t possible.

    Again it was like they the opposition had never talked about it before.

    Randall, Charles, and now none dedicated rd seems like the opposition want to keep kicking the can down the road with this excuse of the other.

    Yet a part of the opposition Nick, mentioned a survey about people wanting them to get it done no matter what.

    Disingenuous has no home, it’s every where.

  5. More later on some of the outside conversations I had.

    I’m busy now, sorry.

  6. Every dollar ‘wasted’ on roundabouts, CFI engineering, roads such as the Algonquin bypass, unused public parking lots, land acquisitions, engineering for toll road interchanges, etc. etc. is a dollar that will not feed one mouth or educate one child but it will fatten the pockets of the fat cat unions (public and private), developers, road construction company owners and some elected officials.

  7. The Nob: How can a vehicle westbound on Charles hit a vehicle southbound on Raffel?

    It was clear from your speech during public comment at the board meeting Tuesday that you are unfamiliar with the Raffel and Charles intersection.

    The intersection is a 3-way intersection, with only traffic on Raffel having to stop–not a 4 way as you imagine.

    I also missed the “pitch” for speed reduction within your “safety” and spend more monologue.

  8. A lot of hand-wringing over kicking road-building cans down the road.

    That presumes that road widening/alterations are cans.

    What ARE cans are the property taxes in this County which are as or more dangerous to the health and well being of every citizen in this County than roadway intersections.

    Property taxes so far in excess of normal ranges have a powerful effect on the future of this County, what other effect could cause more impact?

    There is a diminishing amount of resources left here to be strip mined– so ‘TIF and grant money, and tax incentives’ is not a legitimate answer.

    The growth being courted isn’t the kind which will help actual people, it is the kind that gets special deals and requires subsidization by existing taxpayers.

    And the taxpayers have to try to live with this huge can, and nobody is even giving it a courtesy kick.

    Proponents of spending which placed our County in the top 2 tenths of one percent of tax rates in America evidently DO NOT CARE about the present-day, life threatening misery they inflict upon their fellow citizens.

    I don’t hear any legitimate sympathy for the real-life, life or death citizens’ struggles of TODAY who have seen their home values plummet, costing them life savings.

    I don’t hear Cassandra warnings about piles of bodies, based upon observations of good citizens who went from food pantry donors to recipients, then choosing between meds and property taxes, then homeless, all to feed the desires of Randall Road Insiders and similar projects.

    Let’s not hear the condescending pretense of concern over ‘saving lives’ by building a roundabout.

    If you want to save lives, you lower taxes. You do it today.

  9. @Nob So is it every government bodies fault for everyone that gets in an accident?

    Should we make Randall Road 35 miles an hour and put roundabouts in at all the intersections?

    Or when does it become the drivers fault for being impatient or put themselves in a risky situation?

    Obviously there was someone at fault at that accident I am quite sure for being stupid!

    Which you can’t fix!

    Is that what you would tell your kids if it was their fault for causing an accident?

    It must be the governments fault!

    And how much money is just a few $$$$?

    I looked at the agenda and the cost was over $2,000,000 not including buying the Right of Way.

    How much would you like to raise taxes do redo the county?

  10. Connect the dots, I have a feeling any $$$$ spent there you will think is a waste.

    I wonder how much you know about them actually, have you ever driven through many different types of them?

    I’m attaching a website that debates their future for all to read.

    http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/oct/19/traffic-lights-roundabouts-way-out

    My take is to much traffic like Randall they aren’t so great, and if they aren’t symmetric either.

    Lower flows they are safer, as they eliminate T bones, killers, like the article from the NWH at Charles.

    There is mention of traffic signals, but not much on long term costs to maintain them.

    This little part cracked me up:

    “Traffic lights are so fascist and dictatorial, telling you when to stop and go,” says Beresford.

    “Roundabouts are quintessentially English and democratic in their etiquette.”

    My deal is we need to do something to change what is there now for safety reasons and liability.

    Randall the entrances to properties that a to close to the intersection should be removed for safety.

    Roundabouts save fuel and electricity, and continues flow intersections save $$$$ on fuel by shortening cycle times of traffic signal.

    We can’t legislated or design out stupid, people in a hurry, etc.

    Cheating, over building, building to buy votes, self serving, will always be with us, we are humans after all, not a excuse, just a fact.

  11. 4.6% property tax rates are not SAFE.

    What is to be done about that?

  12. How about enforcing existing laws?

    Take a walk through the mine field called the McHenry County Crime map.

    There is a direct correlation between the number of traffic stops and traffic accidents.

    Fewer stops = more accidents.

    Move the bus barn driveway / close Woodstock North as suggested – problem solved.

    Do not let Eberhard Veit read the article about the roundabouts – he will be at the next board meeting screaming at the top of his lungs!!

  13. Unfortunately Susan, until enough people wake up to the fact that the foundation of the problem with our property tax lies in Springfield and not within our local government units, I do not forsee any reduction in the 4.6.

    Any property reductions by the County, Townships, munis, other taxing entities will be eaten up by the school boards because the public at large will never support a long strike and wage increases will continue!

    Until we change the Constitution and eliminate closed union shops in the public sector, I do not see taxes moving in the right direction.

    BTW With 1 being the best and 51 being the worst, Illinois ranks number 21 for the number of full time equivalent employees in the category of elementary and secondary education. HOWEVER, when you look at what they are paid, that rank jumps to 41. Not the worst but headed there. From the U.S. census 2014 biannual survey.

  14. Live on, I’m against tax increases without our permission, I feel no tax increases, even levy increases should happen with out our 2/3 vote.

    Not 50.1% which stinks of as the wind blows nonsense.

    If intersections are designed to the newest standards at the time, and maintained properly, the gov has no problem with liability.

    Only when gov ignores those things is when we eat it because of lawsuits.

    That is what happened in Hanover Park in 1998, lack of gov maintenance cost 6.5M lawsuit and poor insurance by that gov meant a tax increase.

    Kid will pick up the newer designs faster than old dudes like me, and yes we can’t legislate or design out accidents.

    Changing the speed always lowers the severity of accident, but opposition to that is also strong.

    We’re in to much of a hurry, we go brain dead at times, we’re human.

    2.29M was the number about.

    A stop sign or traffic light on average wastes a dime ($.10), slowing down and speeding up accounts for 2% of all fuel used nation wide.

    Roundabouts eliminate part or all of both of those fuel costs.

    At Johnsburg over 12k vehicles move through there each day, so that is a fuel savings each year of $438k just for stop go, the slow down speed up effect is way harder to calculate, but it does reduce fuel usage.

    Charles has over 8k vehicles, but without a good traffic survey of movements the costs are harder to calculate also.
    For the sake of discussion say 8k, that would mean a yearly fuel savings of $292K

    A payback of fuel savings verse cost to install, 7.8 years, a decent payback rate.

    Added safety, well!

  15. Susan if you’re asking me, that is not my expertise, you’re better with those numbers.

    Seen my rant about controlling taxes?

    At this point, cut services, it’s the only way IMO to get a quick property tax reduction.

    Raise MFT would help property taxes, a different pocket that we can control by how much we drive.

    Schools we seem to not be able to control at the present time.

    You have suggestion on them, I’m all ears.

  16. IMHO, Mike W and the opposition who now are the power seem to want to lower property taxes.

    Will they is the big question?

    I’d think we would hold them to their campaign platforms and kick them out if they don’t.

  17. Connect the dots, we can’t keep a office there all the time it’s not economical either, but your thoughts are well received by me.

  18. Kelly, first that story was copy and pasted from the NWH.
    http://www.mchenrycountygis.org/Athena/

    Click till ya can blow up the map and see the 2014 aerial, that is a four way intersection.

    I was nervous, if I failed to mention all on my notes I apologize.

    I though the fact that it was a known safety problem and I talked about Hanover Park was enough to get my point through.

    Do something, which today was validated.

  19. Kelly, today I talked a tad with the County Eng, mentioned speed reduction.

    I was kind of amazed a full traffic survey hasn’t been done yet, or so it sounded.

    I can say this, the next Trans Comm chair will be on the hot seat, a political death sentence to hold that position.

    Dudes from Randall area lobbying for change, whiners for pro or no change, issues with trying to get contributions to change, add the normal nonsense with the day to day, a living hell I wouldn’t want.

  20. Takes a reallocation of the money.

    The County Board has a meeting about next year’s budget on Friday morning.

    If you or others are free and would like to see the approximately $11 million of RTA Sales Tax money spent to on public safety, rather than transportation, and property taxes cut by the same amount, please show up and speak in public comment at the beginning of the meeting.

  21. 1. Suggestion 1: County must put off all non-critical spending until property tax rate is below 2.75% in 75% of County municipalities/tax code districts.

    Burden of proof to prove ‘critical’ nature falls to petitioner for money, and no County funds should be expended hiring experts to prepare made-as-ordered reports.

    2. Schools want to pay as much as they pay, must cut staff.
    According to:
    Subject: Re: Best Practices in School District Budgeting | Government Finance Officers Association

    http://www.gfoa.org/sites/default/files/PK12_BPdocPCR_1A-BudgetPolicies.pdf

    ( quote from the text of that document: ” Be flexible about class sizes. Decisions about class size are one of the biggest draws on the educational budget because of the staffing implications. Research has not shown a clear, general linkage between class size and student performance ( except for modest impacts in grades K-3). Using scant resources to make small reductions in class sizes is expensive and may not produce much value.”)

  22. Sorry Cal,

    The Sheriff’s Office doesn’t need any more money to waste either

  23. You cannot have the discussion about spending scant resources on Randall without addressing the fiscal crisis this county has achieved.

    Woodstock went south rapidly, it can happen to you too.

  24. Exerts from a NWH story:

    McHenry County’s high-speed, fiber-optics communication network could go online this spring

    MCC, Woodstock, county, School District 200 among entities tapping into network

    Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 11:42 p.m. CDT

    By HANNAH PROKOP – [email protected]

    WOODSTOCK – A $2.1 million project to install a high-speed communication network throughout parts of McHenry County and Woodstock could be completed this spring.

    Each of the entities benefiting from the line are paying for a share of it, with MCC paying about $54,000, McHenry County $760,000, District 200 $806,000, the city of Woodstock $386,000 and the McHenry County ETSB-PSAP $105,800, according to county documents.

    Woodstock City Manager Roscoe Stelford has said the city expects to save about $13,448 annually on Internet-related costs and will benefit from the network in ways including having a better connection between the police and the school cameras, better backups and the ability to do more video conferencing.

    Woodstock $386K, savings $13,448, payback 28.7 years, not a good investment especially since tech changes so quickly.

  25. Oh that was mentioned by Tina in relations to sharing the Charles roundabout with dist 200.

  26. Time for the Nob’s rant:

    We need some government, how much will be debated till the end of the earth. As tax payers we must take away some of the power/decision making away from our elected officials, spending, setting tax rates, and borrowing.

    These three issues were problems that were never addressed properly when the country was formed and Constitution was written.

    They should have been, but the partisan nonsense started already way back then with over spending and borrowing to buy votes.

    Spending must always match actual revenue available at the time, ie what we are willing to give in the form of taxation.

    Borrowing should only be allowed with voter approval.

    Individual Income tax rates and Property tax rates should not be roller coasters of ever changing rates, which just leads to insecurity for the tax payer not knowing what is coming next from the elected to buy votes.

    That is called: As the wind blows nonsense.

    I would propose we force our elected by Petition, which is allowed in the constitution, to enact a Balanced Budget Amendment that has the income tax rate and/or property tax rate control tied to it.

    The Congress, State, and Local government agencies will only be allowed to adjust the income or property tax rates after a 2/3 approval vote within its legal boundary. Our choice, the citizens of the country, state, county, and local government, with a strong majority vote behind changes, not the Pacs controlling the over the top partisan as the wind blows hacks.

    Government agencies that use Property taxes should have no levy power or equalizer or ability to raise taxes because of inflation, whatever the home value, up or down, the rate we voted on determines what is paid in taxes.

    Not enough as most elected seem to keep saying, then come to us with your yearly or two year budget recommendations and let us vote 2/3 for any change from the year before.

    No more passing on our debt to future generations should be allowed.

    We borrow almost 40% for the Fed Gov now that must stop ASAP.

    We can budget a pay back of our various government debts, it’s time we correct our mistakes as lazy sleeping citizens and move on as a country with fiscally responsible government.

    I listening for other suggestions, got one?

  27. I’m not suggesting spending more money in the Sheriff’s Department.

    Just replacing property tax dollars with RTA Sales Tax dollars.

  28. No I was talking about the way copy and pasted again, My Bad, your love for it:

  29. Re: “Just replacing property tax dollars with RTA Sales Tax dollars.”

    But, if they did that ‘they’ (staff) would lose tax dollars that can never be recovered!! A

    ND next year the property tax increase would be subject to PTELL!!

    We (staff) can’t have that!!

    That said, your idea has great merit and would encourage taxpayers to stay in McHenry County.

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