By Marianne Mueller


ROCKTON TWP. – Jack Cook was appointed as the meetings moderator at this year’s annual Town meeting at the Rockton Township offices.

Rockton Village President, Dale Adams asked that the Township give consideration of helping the Village regarding green space and future bike paths.

“The Township has always worked very well with Rockton, and South Beloit, Adams said. “We have a park fund at the Township to be used for maintenance and the overlook at Nygren Wetlands. replied Cook.

“This will be put on a future agenda, “said Township Supervisor, Tom Jencius.

“There has always been the drumbeat that the Township is a useless form of government,” said Cook. He cited the positive effects of bike paths and park efforts as one example of the Township’s value.

Steve Schmaeng addressed the Township during the public comment portion of the meeting about the possibility of bringing a compost site to the area.

Rockton Township Supervisor, Tom Jencius reported that $139,738 is currently in the Township road and bridge fund.

Jencius credited the board for keeping a good budget and all who hold positions for doing an excellent job.

“I could not do what I do without Sharon Hecox, lauded Jencius. She takes care of people who come in to sign up for the LIHEAP program through General Assistance. Jencius referred to a new program called, “Rock Cable.”

“This program is not the same quality as LIHEAP,” said Jencius.

“Sharon acts as an advocate for people who do not receive direct financial assistance for food stamps, medical or in other areas. The Township also works with the Senior Circuit Breaker and offers a discount on license plate renewals for seniors.

“I cannot say enough about Sharon and what she has done for the Township throughout all of these years.”

Hecox is also is the Executive Director of SMTD. “Just this past month alone over 1,265 riders.”

“We are still making improvements at the Greater Rockton Community Center, ” said Jencius. He credited custodian, Scott Story for doing an excellent job and for doing extras at the Greater Rockton Center.

“On a personal level I am a figurehead of the Township I have attended various meetings for SLATS, and serve on the Village of Rockton Tax Incremental Joint Review Board. My job as the Supervisor is to look out for the Township. All this wouldn’t be going on without our people,” said Jencius.

“We have used 300 tons of salt. We have ordered salt for the upcoming year which we got a good price on. We mix in our stone chips which stretch the salt further. We will be sealcoating and doing patching projects,” said Highway Commissioner, Matt Cuyler.

“We had to physically view every property and reassess it,” said Township Assessor, Dana Adams. “We had a new format this year. Values are going up. Rockton and Shirland farms really are going up in regard to property index numbers.

Adams gave statistics from the past year. “We only had 96 complaints this year, and 34 hearings. Evidence and information was five pages long. We do not have to file paperwork for senior freeze exemptions.

“Out of 1,239 senior citizens only 592 freezes were put in place. Nine locations with buildings and land were assessed at higher rates; seven were Chemtool, one was Fat Wallet, and one was the McDonald’s gas station in South Beloit.”

Cemetery Sexton, Jerrianna Noller reported that the Rockton Township Cemeteries served 36 families for burial services which included 11 cremations and 25 full casket burials.

Additionally, 32 permits were issued for new marker installations. In the past 10 years the Rockton Township Cemetery has provided markers for new burials. Noller spoke of how this has inspired families to secure permanent markers for those burials.

Noller reported, “In the past and since the bombing attacks on America in 2001, the U.S. Administration began to allow a deceased veteran and their spouse name to be inscribed on one military issued marker. Beginning January 2016 the current administration is denying this privilege to veterans of any war. This office has contacted our local Representatives regarding the issue in hopes that the decision by the current or future administration will reverse the decision,” said Noller.

Former grounds keeper, Don Vick retired last year and Frank Saladino took over duties. “This new relationship is working out great,” lauded Noller.

July 5 marked the 100th anniversary of the “Eastland Disaster.” Grace Winnifred Stevens was a victim of the disaster, dying at age 24. She is buried at the Rockton Township Cemetery next to her father. Signage has been placed to indicate where her burial site is.

Eagle Scout Aaron Jolly chose to research Civil War Veterans buried in the Rockton Township Cemetery as his Eagle project. Noller outlined actions taken by Jolly.

On Nov. 8 a special dedication ceremony took place. Jolly is a 2015 graduate of Hononegah High School and is in his first year of Beloit College.

“My great, great grandfather served in the Civil War, shared Jolly. “It is great to walk through the cemetery to see the sights were Veterans are buried and to be a part of the history.”
In the past year Stonehuggers Restoration installed Civil War markers and completed phase six of an ongoing restoration project. They reset and cleaned 74 stones and power washed 280 in the new section and 100 in the old section.

On Memorial Day all Veterans of all wars have a flag placed at the grave of each soldier. Each new veteran also receives a flag holder and flag at the time of internment.

Noller previously urged the board that it is in the Township’s best interest to be on the hunt for at least 15 acres of bare land to use for future expansion of the cemetery at some point.

Noller credited everyone who helps to keep the Rockton Cemetery one to take great pride in.

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