Today is the deadline for filing the petition for a referendum to abolish Algonquin Township as a separate unit of government.
Functions now being performed by Algonquin Township would be shifted to McHenry County, if the April referendum passes.
And the state law passed by Rep. David McSweeney mandates a 10% cut in portion of the tax currently levied by the township.
One’s last chance to sign a petition will be at the Panera’s in Crystal Lake, located on Route 14 in front of Best Buy, at 1:30 this afternoon. One must be a resident of Algonquin Township to be eligible to sign the petition. That basically means living south of Crystal Lake Avenue.
Township government has three mandatory functions:
- assessing property
- maintaining township roads
- providing general assistance
All of those functions would be taken over by county government.
In addition, there are services Algonquin Township provides which are not mandated by state law, for example, recycling, brush drop-off and bus service for seniors.
Since half the members of the County Board represent part of Algonquin Township, it is unlikely any popular services could be eliminated.
An additional incentive for the services to be continued is that all the future tax dollars collected by County government has to spent for the benefit of Algonquin Township residents.
That applies to assets like the township complex on Route 14 as well, thanks to a suggestion from State Senator Craig Wilcox that McSweeney added to his legislation.
The County Highway Department would be in charge of both township and county road maintenance in Algonquin Township, although intergovernmental agreements with municipalities might result in unincorporated subdivisions being plowed by a nearby city or village, instead of County trucks.
An added bonus is that there will be eight fewer elected officials to keep track of in our part of this state that has more tax districts than any other state in the country.