Dozens of Residents Sign Petition to Abolish Palatine Township Road District
A petition asking the Palatine Township board to pay for an independent study that would identify taxpayer benefits to abolishing the road district was filed Thursday by 30 Palatine residents, according to Matt Flamm.
More than 30 Palatine Township residents signed and submitted a petition Thursday to the township clerk, seeking the abolition of the road district, according to Matt Flamm, township resident and former political candidate.
The petition, according to Flamm, asks the Palatine Township board to, “commission an independent study of the potential benefits to taxpayers of abolishing the Road District and make that study public by December 31,” Flamm said in a Local Voice contribution on Palatine Patch.
Flamm cited a new law that allows township boards to put a referendum on the ballot relating to the abolishment of road districts.
“Eight years ago they had fewer than 18 miles of unincorporated roads to handle, and each year we have more annexations,” Flamm said. “The budget is millions of dollars and ridiculously high for the length of road in the township.”
Flamm proposes that that burden be shifted to the village, namingly the Village of Palatine, who he believes would be able to take over not only the snow plowing of roughly 18 or less unincorporated miles of road, but the 15-20% of routes that the township currently handles for the village.
“On the tax bill, roads and bridges take up more than all of the other parts combined. Half of it goes to the municipality and other half goes to road district,” Flamm said.
There are hundreds of miles of road in villages, and if the township took over the road district and contracted with the village, their cost per mile would be a lot less, and that would ultimately save money for taxpayers, he said.
Village Manager Reid Ottesen said that from a snowplow standpoint, the village currently doesn’t have enough resources, and if the burden were shifted, staffing levels and vehicles would have to be increased.
“Right now, the township covers the equivalent of two routes for us, which is up to 20 percent of our rotes,” Ottesen said. “It is more cost effective to outsource to the township.”
“I just don’t see how it’s practical without us increasing our expenses to do so, we have a good relationship with the township and help each other out in-kind, often. The village council approves our intergovernmental agreement each year,” Ottesen said.
Flamm believes if the village took over, it would be compensated through a shift in tax allocation, and taxpayers would save money as well.
Tom Kaider, who recently won the Republican primary for Palatine Township Highway Commissioner and will be the party's candidate in the April election, is open to the idea.
“Without exception, my only commitment is to Palatine Township taxpayers and what is best for the community,” Kaider said. I respect Matt Flamm for his interest in township government.”
“I believe in small government and fiscal conservatism, and that has not changed since I’ve been elected,” Kaider said. “I’m open to any idea that could possibly lead us to a more efficient government.”
The Palatine Township annual meeting will be held on April 16. For more information, visit the Palatine Township website.