As winter weather persists, legal battle over road salt being waged in suburb

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ALGONQUIN TOWNSHIP, Ill. — A legal battle between the Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner and the board of trustees could mean the streets in the township will not be salted on a night where winter weather is a concern.

Commissioner Andrew Gasser declared a salt shortage emergency Tuesday. He filed a motion in court saying the salt is below 300 tons, which he considers an emergency.

Gasser blames township trustees who won’t pay a bill to a company.

According to the trustees, Gasser illegally bought the salt from that company and didn’t go through the competitive bidding process.

Trustee Rachael Lawrence told WGN News that it’s up to Gasser whether the roads will be salted or not.

“Will it be safe? That’s up to him,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence said there is salt that was bought through the bidding process that could be used but she said it’s up to the commissioner to use it.

On Facebook, Gasser said, in part, "The roads are treated. If we run out of salt it is because of the trustees refusing to pay a legal bill and not because we didn't act in time. Shame on the trustees for turning this into their political circus."

Efforts to reach Gasser were unsuccessful but his attorney said in a statement, “Mr. Gasser is merely attempting to serve the people of Algonquin Township and found it necessary to file the motion with the court. We trust that the court system will do substantial justice. “

This salt battle will be heard in a McHenry County courtroom on Wednesday, ahead of a township  board of trustees meeting.

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