Guest Column: Is William Charles special?
By Nichole Larison Sammon
Fox Ridge Subdivision resident
Winnebago County Board member Angie Goral (D-7) stated in the daily Oct. 12 regarding her voting for the special-use permit for William Charles’ proposed asphalt plant in its East State Street quarry that, “If it was in my back yard, I’d probably have an issue, too, but we have to take out the emotional part and really look at what the project involves.” From this statement, it appears Goral doesn’t want it in her back yard, but it is OK to be placed in yours.
In the same article, she stated, “Every time we bid a project, if that company has to go 20 miles to get asphalt or concrete, it’s costing taxpayers’ dollars.”
Goral’s taxpayer dollar argument doesn’t hold water. William Charles is looking to move one of their four asphalt plants from the upper middle of the county to the farthest east edge of Winnebago County. In fact, the quarry William Charles has chosen is split right in the middle by the Winnebago and Boone County lines. If, for example, a job was needed in downtown Rockford, the asphalt from Nimtz Quarry would be closer to the job than the East State Street quarry. If a job was needed on the far west side of Winnebago County, the asphalt from Nimtz Quarry would be miles closer than asphalt from the East State Street quarry. Goral’s statement refers to a 20-mile delivery. Since Winnebago County is only 21 miles wide, the only way the asphalt would travel 20 miles for a job in Winnebago County is if, in fact, it was moved to the East State Street quarry.
I am concerned about taxpayer dollars, Winnebago County tax dollars, and I would like the asphalt plant to stay in a location more strategic for delivery costs within Winnebago County, the Nimtz quarry. The only people who would benefit from the asphalt plant moving to the farthest point in Winnebago County would, in fact, be William Charles.
65XX Rock Valley Pkwy. — tax due $28.46
As far as tax dollars, William Charles or Winnebago County has found many creative ways to limit property taxes to Winnebago County. Let’s look at just a few properties, for example. In information obtained from the Rockford Township Property Search, found on the internet, William Charles purchased property in May 1997 located at 65XX (sic) Rock Valley Pkwy. for $1,626,748. That property, according to the Winnebago County Treasurer’s online records, Parcel No. 12-02-251-001 now has a Fair Market Value of $966 and the TOTAL TAX DUE on this property is $28.46 and the Land Use is “Commercial Preferential.”
5731 Charles St. — taxed single family
Another property located at 5731 Charles St. Parcel No. 12-33-401-001, Land Use “Improved Industrial” is being taxed as a “single family,” which just happens to have a gravel quarry and a monopole cell tower in the back yard. This aforementioned property just happens to be the Mulford/Harrison quarry, which is currently in litigation with the City of Rockford over the last special-use permit William Charles applied for.
5300 Nimtz Road — tax due $44,306.28
William Charles states that they are going to close the Nimtz Quarry located at 5300 Nimtz Road in Loves Park. The total tax bill for parcel Nos. 08-33-326-005 and 08-33-401-002 is $44,306.28.
East State Street Quarry — $17,739.76
The East State Street quarry, parcel nos. 12-24-276-001, 12-24-226-002, and 12-24-226-003, have a total tax bill of $17,739.76. Is this one of the real reasons they want to operate an asphalt plant at the East State Street quarry and close the one on Nimtz Road?
Our property values continue to depreciate, yet our property taxes stay inflated. As shown by many facts found in our public databases, there is no “benefit” to the taxpayers of Winnebago County for this asphalt plant to be placed in the East State Street quarry.
The effects on adjacent property
Even with the arguments that this will not benefit Winnebago County, the only thing that should be considered for a special-use permit, according to Winnebago County Ordinance, our laws, is the effect of such use on the adjacent property; the neighbors of the special use. Please read the ordinance yourself. Call your Winnebago County Board member and ask them to re-read the Zoning Ordinance for special-use permits. Ask them to understand it before they vote.
We are a country of laws. I am asking as a resident of this county, for the Winnebago County Board to follow those laws. If you support only this point, please come to the Oct. 27 Winnebago County Board meeting and show your support.
From the Oct. 19-26, 2011, issue