Rockton Township Trustees revisited actions to be taken regarding a billboard that sits along Hwy. 2 in Rockton Township that is owned by LAMAR.

Trustee Randy Johnson has negotiated a new contract with the new rate to begin in 2024 (though there were four years left on the old contract) that has increased the annual revenue for the Township to $1,200 per year. The former contract was for 10 years at $100 a year.

At the Sept. 13 meeting of Rockton Township reviewed and discussed requirements of a revised lease.

Attorney Doug Henry advised and recommended that the Township hold off on new contract options until the next town meeting, which is set for next April.

“At least 15 electors are required at a special town meeting. There is no attendance requirement at a regular town meeting,” Henry said.

“Since this is found money, if you have already been paid through April then the check is good until July 1,” Henry added.

Trustee Gene Hermann asked, “Shouldn’t there be something that allows for inflation? If we look for a shorter term do we need to be required to have a 10-year lease?”

Henry used the Rockton Township Center as an example of where a short-term lease could be used. “A town meeting is requested to release real property,” Henry said.

At the last meeting the cost of what the Township is currently paying to Siepert & Co. Audit Services for preparation of the State of IL. Annual report, versus what they might pay if they find someone who offers a lower rate was discussed.

Office Manager Kristi Schaffer suggested that maybe she could check to see if there are any auditors associated with the Township Officials of IL. (TOI).

Trustee Hermann said that he has reached out to the CPA regarding the Townships yearly audit. “I haven’t received an answer yet,” Hermann said.

A consensus was reached that in a large Township there is a great involvement of time that it takes to conduct an audit. An accountant can spend around one week in the office plus another two to three weeks with others just running numbers.

“We have been using Siepert since I first came on the board here,” Hermann said.

Hermann asked what the downside would be if an audit isn’t performed every year. Previously it was determined that by doing an audit the Township is protected from a tax liability, and it is a safety precaution. Herman called the cost exorbitant and asked if a CPA can be used instead.

It was noted that if it is done less than there will be twice as much to look at. Currently Siepert is paid a total of $19,500 per year. “If this protects us every year, can we do the same thing at a cost of $10,000,” Hermann asked.

Township Supervisor Paul Williams said, “When Sharon Hecox was here, Siepert was the most reasonably priced company around.”

Trustee Vicky Ivy followed up on the subject of Capone’s Bar in South Beloit where the manager had previously asked her for help raising awareness, in hopes of resolving issues at the bar.

During the September meeting Ivy gave an update on conditions at Capone’s. “The last couple of times they had a faster response from the police department, and that the noise levels have been cut down. The manager and the Winnebago County Police are now working together,” Ivy said.

Ivy also thanked Office Manager Kristi Schaffer for helping a local resident get a medical card and to take other steps to get on track.

“New windows, a good new roof and a complete exterior repainting job has been done on the log cabin,” Williams said.

The level of the Rockton Township Center used by the YMCA had an emergency door replacement done at a cost of $6,000.

The Township is looking to make future improvements at the Center. In the works are to install new bathrooms in the basement level. When the upstairs bathrooms are redone a back flow prevention device will need to be installed.

Williams said, “In order to put a sprinkler system in we have to upgrade to a 4” inch water line.

These improvements come out of Township funds.”

Hermann asked, “Are we going to get bids to make sure that we are getting the best deal?” Williams replied, “We budgeted the money to have this done last year.”

The cemetery report shows that no new spaces were sold, one cremation was done and one tree was removed.

A local Boy Scout is helping to oversee a Veteran Marker project in the cemetery.

Williams said he was going to call Rockton Village President John Peterson to check on the progress of a bike path to be built on Rockton Rd. and Old River Rd. “I want to know why nothing has been started yet. Different agencies have given money to this project, “Williams said.

Ivy asked if the Township will be attending the Township Officials of IL. Conference again this year which is an educational networking event.

A tire drop was organized by Winnebago County on Aug.25.

Township Road Commissioner Trent Kehoe offered to help with any clean up required at the event at the August meeting. In prior meetings Trustee Connie Gleasman expressed the need for this type of event.

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