Shields Township is Not Closing!

We want to take this time to disquiet any rumors that Shields Township is closing. This is not true!  The township remains intact but new changes are forthcoming for our highway department.    

In August, the Illinois legislature passed House Bill 348, which will do away with road districts in unincorporated areas with fewer than 15 miles of roads. This includes Shields Township, which oversees 8.85 miles of unincorporated roads.

Known as the Township Road & Bridge District consolidation bill, HB 348 affects two counties in Illinois  – McHenry and Lake.In McHenry County, the bill provides that the board of trustees or township electors have the power to dissolve a township. If successful, all property, equipment, obligations, and responsibilities will transfer to McHenry County. 

In Lake County, maintenance of roads and bridges in unincorporated areas wil shift from the oversight of a highway commissioner to the board of trustees. Six of 18 Lake County townships are affected by this new bill. In addition to Shields, they include Avon, Newport, Vernon, West Deerfield and Waukegan. The legislation goes into effect spring 2021.

Following preliminary discussions between Shields Township Supervisor, Terry Darraugh and possible partners in the transition, it was determined that neither Lake County nor the surrounding municipalities have any interest in assuming Shields Township road and bridge responsibilities. They have neither the equipment nor the workforce to do so.

 Another option is to hire a private contractor to perform the work which a cursory evaluation appears to be more expensive than the current cost.  At this time, serving the unincorporated communities using Shields Township employees seems to make the most sense.

 We invite community involvement and encourage those living in the unincorporated areas, who are most affected by the bill, to attend the next two board meetings where the proposed 2020 budget and proposed property tax levy will be discussed.

The meeting dates are Thursday, November 21 at 5:00 pm for budget workshop, 6:30 pm for board meeting and Thursday, December 12 at 6:30 pm for board meeting.  The meeting is held in the second floor conference room at 906 Muir Ave. Lake Bluff, Il.

Shields Township has worked hard to reduce our share of your property tax bills.  In the last nine years Shields Township tax levy has been reduced by 40% and our reserves have been slashed by 43%.  Whereas Shields Township was formerly 2% of your property tax bill, we are now under 1%. That is unprecedented progress.  For perspective, the following charts show where your property tax dollars are spent.  While other governmental units continue to grow we are holding the line at Shields Township.

Please come in or contact us with any questions or concerns. 

[email protected] 

847-234-0802. 

My door is always open. 

Terry Darraugh

Shields Township Supervisor