The meeting after new Algonquin Township officers were sworn in there were two balloon rats next to the Route 14 entrance.
The crowd was raucous.
Sheriff’s deputies were in attendance.
Last month, fewer Operating Engineers Local 150 showed up and the meeting was calmer.
There were three big rats, though.
Last night, there were no balloon rats and no observable members of Local 150 present
And there were no visible members of Local 150 either.
The target of Local 150’s ire, newly-elected Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Andrew Gasser spoke at the first meeting, but was meeting with constituents about a bridge problem a month ago.
Tuesday night, he gave a lengthy report.
Included was information about the Dennis Road bridge, which has been hotly commented upon on McHenry County Blog.
One commenter wondered why a box culvert was not being installed.
Gasser said that was what he wanted to do, but that the U.S. Corps of Engineers would have required a permit.
The minimum amount of time to get such a permit would have been four weeks, but it could have taken four to five months.
Gasser was unwilling to leave the subdivision isolated for that amount of time, so the existing culverts were used.
Originally, the project was estimated to take about a month, but there were two weeks of delay due to separate deluges.
It was impossible to work on the repair with water pouring over the coffer dam through the existing culverts.
Even with sixteen days of rain delays, access to the subdivision was restored in five weeks, two days, he said.
Now there is a two-lane gravel road, which Gasser’s engineering firm advises be allowed to remain uncovered in order to pack down the gravel around the culverts.
Then a base and asphalt will be laid over the gravel.
Some of the neighbors were so dissatisfied with the progress, they called in the Corps of Engineers, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and some more agencies to inspect the project.
“They inspected the heck out of us,” Gasser told the Township Board.
After four hours on site, the inspectors had no problems with the project, which consisted mainly of replacing the head and foot walls.
During public comment,Vincent Stidle (Sp?) a member of the Lake Killarney Homeowners Association Board vigorously complained about a video Gasser had posted showing septic system failure flowing into one of the lakes from Nunda Township.
He said there should have been evidence and asked Gasser to retract the video.
The Board member claimed the video and subsequent videos consisted of “fear mongering.”
[Nevertheless, the Association published the following on its web site on August 3ed:
As some of you may have heard, it has come to our attention that there is some sort of discharge flowing into our lake from the other side of Crystal Lake Avenue. Some of you may have noticed a foul odor coming near the North end of the lake over the past couple of weeks.The Algonquin Township highway commissioner has made a public post urging residents of Lake Killarney to refrain from swimming in the lake until the proper authorities have the chance to test the water and investigate the issue. At this time, both the East and West beaches will be closed until further notice and we advise residents living on the lake to refrain from swimming.]
During his report, Gasser replied he had received “over fifteen calls saying something in Lake Killarney stinks.”
His first video contained “bits of toilet paper and bits of fecal matter.”
The Road Commissioner said he was letting people know what was there.
He added that taking down the video, once posted, would violate state law.
“It’s coming from Nunda. There’s really nothing the Highway Department can do.”
He suggested a pond on Valley View Road was the source of the entry to the Nunda Township drainage system.
Township Trustee Melissa Victor said the video “was very wrong” and wanted to see something in writing.
Gasser replied, “They have tested the feces.” (The “they” being the McHenry County Public Health Department.)
“I’d be happy to bring in Ph.D’s,” he added.
Victor said the video was “quite embarrassing, quite humiliating” and would hurt chances of homeowners to sell their properties.
Gasser suggested that just smelling the air near some houses would hurt sale possibilities.
“I wouldn’t let my sons swim there. Would you?”
“Do you have written proof?” she continued.
“I still think the video was wrong.”
Tension between Trustee Rachael Lawrence and Clerk Karen Lukasik was evident.
Reacting to something Lawrence put on social media, Lukasik said, “Where in the law does it say I answer to you.
“You’re not my supervisor.
“I’m tired of the way you treat me.
“I’m sick of it.”
Later Trustee David Chapman said he was going to make suggestions for additions to “out ethics ordinance” at the next meeting.
He referred specifically to “social media policy.”