Homer Township provides numerous services while also partnering with volunteer community organizations like: The Homer Athletic Club, The Homer Soccer Club, The Homer Stallions Organization, The Homer Founders Club, The Homer Junior Women’s Club, and The Will County Sheriff’s TRIAD. The Township is successful in providing “much” with little or no money because of our volunteers. We also partner with Homer Glen or Lockport when it is cost effective. We are among the smallest portion on your tax bill and have been able to operate without increasing the Levy for the last 3 years due to the fiscally responsible Township Board (Supervisor Meyers, Clerk Balich, Assessor Szynkowski, Road Commissioner De Vivo, Trustees Bozen, Neitzke, Sowa, & Kruczek). We have a budget that is in the Black because we spend wisely and stay within our budget. Township government has been around the longest and has been proven to be the most cost effective form of government.
Arguments made by some elected officials that Townships are a duplication of government and a waste of taxpayer money are not thought out, and a reaction to other taxing bodies’ spending money they don’t have. Dismantling Township Government will cost Taxpayers much more money, while providing inferior services. The State is how many Billion in the hole. Moving local programs to the County would not improve response time or quality. Part time employees would be replaced by full time employees at what cost. Township roads were the first done and safest roads last winter in the big blizzard. All work has to be done no matter who is in charge. Just think of a Highway Commissioner being replaced by a director and 3 shift foremen. Imagine a director or foreman for each of the various services Homer Township provides its citizens.
The claim that dissolving Townships will result in tax savings is ridiculous. Karen Szynkowski the Homer Township Assessor only places the assessed value on the property; she does not set the Levy, individual taxing bodies do. She does not set the tax rates, the Will County Clerk’s Office does. She does not collect taxes, the Will County Treasurer’s Office does. She simply places an assessed value on property. All assessments are finalized before any levies or tax rates are determined. She can’t set the assessment based upon the rate. Lowering all assessments in Homer Township will not decrease taxes.
Karen wants it understood: If all assessments were cut in half and taxing bodies did not spend one penny more or less than the prior year, everyone’s tax bill would remain the same. The rate would simply be doubled by the Will County Clerk’s Office so the revenue collected would be the same. In order for the property taxes to decrease, individual taxing bodies (City, Fire, School, etc.) must request fewer funds and lower their Levy. If the taxing bodies request the same or increased funds, taxes will not go down regardless of what happens to the assessments.
Services provided by Homer Township:
· Resurface all roads prior to base or sub-base failure.
· Repaint road surface markings annually
· Maintain vehicle weight limitations
· Inspect and clear debris from all major drainage areas and systems prior to any anticipated or forecasted substantial rain event.
· Monitor 527 street lights and dispatch vendors
· Plow snow and distribute ice control on more than one hundred and forty (140) miles of roads
· Maintain the surface and shoulders of all roads
· Maintain all drainage ditches and driveway culverts.
· Maintain and replace when needed, approximately 100 miles of sidewalks
· Mow right-of way grass in open areas.
· Maintain right-of-way vegetation for line-of-sight safety at all intersections.
· Street sweep all curbed subdivision twice each summer season.
· Maintain storm sewers, drains and basins.
· Trim the over eight thousand (8,000) trees when they interfere with pedestrian walkways, or safe vehicle operation and/or visibility.
· Remove debris from roads such as gravel and dead animals.
· Install and maintain the more than two thousand (2,000) regulatory and street signs.
· Issues permits to monitor all sub-contractor activity in the road rights-of-way.
· Improve intersections with turn lanes and traffic controls
· Add turn lanes at major use areas such as parks and public buildings.
· Re-engineer and widen roads during resurfacing.
· Assist local food pantry
· Administer General Assistance for those in need
· Administer assistance for those in emergency situations
· Manage 240 acres of Open Space
· Manage 5 parks some with trails
· Manage 2 sports complexes
· Manage 1 dog park
· Manage 1 historical farm site has a trail
· Manage a 30 unit senior housing complex on 5 acres
· Maintain the Old Town Hall, Founders Crossing Activity Center and the Homer Healing Garden
· Administer Early Voting and voter registration
· Maintain Township records
· Assess all prosperities
· Administer rental, leases, and use of Township properties
· Offer prescription discount drug cards
· Administer TRIAD programs: yellow dot, file for life, fund Pace bus service, and cell phones programmed to call 911
· Senior transportation assistance with Pace Dial-A-Ride and RTA
· Manage a FOIA Department
· Oversee committees: Parks and Recreation, Events, Seniors, Military, Children’s Halloween party, Homer Community Festival, Homer Harvest days, Parade
· Oversee Open Space operations, and various easement properties.
· Oversee the Township Planning Commission
· Support the Annual 911 ceremony, 5k runs, Annual State MAAD rally, and other community efforts.
· Co-Partner with Homer Glen with Harvest Days, Parade, and Community Celebration
· Mosquito Abatement
· Support youth with special needs
· Provide free Notary service
· Temporary handicap placards
· Senior meetings, luncheons, and trips
· Work with Lockport Heights Sanitary District with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
· Supplement Will County service organizations such as: Senior Services, and will County Center for Community Concerns.
· Provide and manage meeting spaces for most Community Organizations and residents.
· Facilitate coordination between religious and charitable organizations of the Township to provide emergency and food assistance to those in need.
· Maintain onsite electronic recycling station.
Steve Balich Homer Township Clerk
Approved by the Homer Township Board March 12, 2012