Dundee Township is asking different native governments to assist fund its Experience in Kane program, which supplies transportation for seniors and the disabled, as a result of operational prices have practically doubled within the final six months, township Supervisor Arin Thrower mentioned.
Bills have elevated from about $7,000 to $12,000, which is “not going to be sustainable for us on the township,” Thrower mentioned.
With the township’s new fiscal 12 months beginning March 1, the township board can be voting on the 2024-25 funds in a couple of weeks and should determine if it would proceed to fund Experience in Kane, she mentioned.
Operational prices have been regular the previous couple of years however surged over the past six months, she mentioned. This coming 12 months’s projected worth is $148,000, in comparison with $65,789 in fiscal 12 months 2023-24 and $67,802 in 2022-23.
“Anytime a unit of presidency has to have a look at their service ranges and make modifications, it’s going to be a really robust determination,” Thrower mentioned. “We even have to have a look at what packages the township is remitted to do. This isn’t one in every of them. It’s one thing we need to do. It’s one thing we have to do. Nevertheless it’s not mandated.”
The township has approached the villages of Carpentersville, East Dundee, West Dundee, and Sleepy Hole about offering funding for this system.
Tempo operates and manages the service, which is on the market all through Kane County and is funded by cities, villages and townships. Dundee Township registers riders and pays for the service for anybody who lives inside the township.
Dundee Township Park District introduced Experience in Kane to the world within the Nineties. Thrower shared the township’s scenario with the township Park Board, which mentioned it at its Wednesday night time assembly.
“We used to manage it and took it on as a park district,” Dundee Township Park Government Director Dave Peterson informed park commissioners. “We employed bus drivers who would take seniors round for errands and physician appointments. Over time, our threat administration firm didn’t just like the park district taking up the position. It wasn’t a part of our mission.”
When the park district stepped again, Dundee Township stepped in with monetary assist from the 4 villages and the park district, Peterson mentioned. A 2007 intergovernmental settlement spelled out the association, however it was solely legitimate for a 12 months, he mentioned.
The park district supplied funding for a couple of years afterward, as did the villages, however finally the whole price fell on the township, Peterson mentioned.
Thrower doesn’t know why the opposite governmental contributions stopped.
“It was most likely for monetary stress or a change of management. Carpentersville pulled out first, then everybody else adopted go well with,” she mentioned.
Carpentersville has the very best charge of ridership, knowledge reveals. Experience in Kane supplies rides for 300 individuals each month. Thrower has proposed that every village pay primarily based on the variety of residents who use the service.
She has already heard from Sleepy Hole officers, who mentioned they’ll’t afford to offer any funding, she mentioned.
Whereas the opposite villages haven’t but responded, she is hopeful they’ll get a dedication on a brand new intergovernmental settlement with all of them earlier than the township board’s Feb. 21 deadline to vote on a brand new funds.
As for what’s driving up the elevated prices, Thrower mentioned she isn’t positive. Tempo officers have informed her they’re outsourcing some rides to taxi companies, particularly for individuals who want them within the morning, and that may be costly, she mentioned. One bill confirmed a 10-mile journey price the township $65, she mentioned.
“It’s not environment friendly. It’s not efficient,” Thrower mentioned. “I feel Tempo is attempting to offer a greater service, however with that comes a higher expense,” Thrower mentioned.
She’s additionally wanting into different choices, she mentioned, and has proposed to Kane County officers that the county take over the service. DuPage and McHenry counties handle related packages for all their residents, which is best than the piecemeal foundation accomplished in Kane, she mentioned.
Gloria Casas is a contract reporter for The Courier-Information.