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May 27, 2024

Algonquin Township – Was equipment sold in violation of law?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 27, 2017

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

The former Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller, also former President of Township Officials of Illinois, appears to have sold equipment in violation of state law. I referenced the TOI connection as it is the organization that offers training and direction for Townships.  One must ask when the President does things as outlined below, what other things are happening in this state as a result of failed leadership and inability to read or follow the law?

605 ILCS 5/6-201.17  – …….”In single township road districts, sale of road district property including, but not limited to, machinery and equipment shall be subject to elector approval as provided in Section 30-50 of the Township Code….”

In 2017, we find that the outgoing Highway Commissioner, Bob Miller, sold equipment to the Village of Island Lake.  He sold a 2012 Elgin Crosswind sweeper that was claimed to be worth $246,000.00 new and it only had 25,000 miles on it.

Sale price?  $70,000.00

Interesting we found a 2012 Elgin Crosswind with more than three times the miles listed for $135,000.00.  Makes you wonder why this sweetheart deal was done? 

According to the minutes from Island Lake, this transaction was done through an Intergovernmental Agreement for the sale and purchase of a 2012 Elgin Crosswind/Auto truck sweeper.  You may recall our article on the questionable purchase of a new sweeper in what appeared to have all the qualifications of a rigged bid in this article.

According to the 2016 Annual Meeting minutes, there is no action to approve the sale of equipment by the electors and it would have been during that meeting in which approval was provided as the sale was done prior to the 2017 meeting.

The only other way this sweeper could have been sold the way it was is by declaring it surplus by the Township Board or Highway Commissioner as outlined in section 30-50 of the Township Code.

A review of the minutes a full year prior to this sale does not reflect any record or notation of any declaration of surplus property, either by the board or the Highway Commissioner.  Nor was there any record pointing to an Intergovernmental Agreement as referenced by Island Lake.  An FOIA request has been submitted and will update upon receipt of that response.

All indications appear to point to the Road District selling equipment in direct violation of the law.  Never mind that it appears to have been sold for well below fair market price.  If it was sold as surplus, since when does a 5 year old sweeper with only 25,000 miles constitute surplus property, especially in light of the fact durinig this very transaction he was setting things up for a purchase of another sweeper?

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  • Peter Nelligan
    Posted at 02:26h, 28 November Reply

    For Whom The Bell Tolls.
    Before my very eyes.
    Should come as no surprise.

    Posted at 10:31h, 28 November Reply

    Isn’t there usually an hour meter on equipment like this? To keep track of the machine operating hours? Seems like that would be a good idea for maintenance purposes!

    It seems like with a sweeper you could get a lot of hours and very few miles when sweeping. All that sucker stuff on a sweeper could suck a lot of power when the sweeper is actually sweeping. All that sucking stuff probably is expensive to maintain and fix and probably wears out on a useage basis. If the sucking is powered by the main engine it might be like the sweeper is accelerating from a stop sign all the time when the sweeper is sweeping. If the crew are just cruizing around at 55 mph waiting for their next donut break and not doing any of that sweeping and sucking, then probably not so much wear on the main engine and all that expensive sucking stuff in back and underneath.

    So I don’t know all that much about sweepers but I wonder if it’s possible some dealer could have two sweepers on the lot. Same year and model and mileage, and assume they are about 5 years old for the sake of arguing. One has about 250 operating hours on the sweeper because …well… figure out how that could happen! The other one ran two shifts and in two years ran up 10,000 hours sweeping. Which sweeper would a smart person look at first? Even if the price wasn’t exactly the same?

    So how many operating hours and the general condition of the equipment seems like the kind of thing a smart highway commissioner would know before deciding it would save the taxpayer money to send that old sweeper down the road to some other place, and replace it with a new sweeper. Likewise the new owner would probably be smart to look at it the same way.

    I gotta say that sometimes private business buys and sells equipment for tax benefits long before it’s worn out, but I haven’t looked at the financials to see if townships can get away with the shiny new combine and tractor writeoffs that farmers use when corn and beans are up.

    So do you guys know how many hours were on the hour meter when it was sent on down the road? If you don’t, maybe you should!

    • Peter Nelligan
      Posted at 13:58h, 28 November Reply

      Remember that the 6 most expensive words in business are; We’ve always done it that way.

  • Danni Smith
    Posted at 12:30h, 13 December Reply

    OK, LET’S START HERE. Used items do not appreciate in value. Neither do old cars, old trucks, old buses, trains, farm equipment, until one of these items crosses that magic line into the antique category. Is an old mechanical, of antique caliber and quality a 2012 Elgin Crosswind/Auto truck sweeper with two previous owners and 75,000 original miles? Could it be the unique provenance? Not based upon my knowledge of historic and antique items. Of particular interest in the ad is “we ship world wide”. Do these thieves hope to get the equipment out of the country, under the belief any legal problems would minimized at cloud of extradition for a 2012 Elgin Crosswind. (take these crooks out-they are taking advantage of you, Island Lake)

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