Judge rules in legal battle over road salt in Algonquin Township

ALGONQUIN TOWNSHIP, Ill. — Amid this snowy and icy winter, the Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner and the Board of Trustees are in a fight over salt. At a meeting Wednesday night,  some residents and board members called on the highway commissioner to resign.

Earlier in the day, a judge denied the commissioner's salt emergency declaration. The judge said the issue should be resolved within the township and not in court.

Commissioner Andrew Gasser declared the emergency due to a dwindling supply. He argued since the township’s salt supply was well below 300 tons, he couldn’t ensure proper road treatment and even mentioned possible road closures.

His attorney filed an emergency motion for payment of a previous delivery, which the township found to be ordered illegally since there was never a bidding process.

In court, the judge found the argument about an emergency and an insufficient salt supply to be insufficient.

The townships of McHenry and Nunda both offered to loan or sell salt to Algonquin Township if it is, indeed, needed in an emergency.

Gasser’s attorney admits the commissioner mishandled the original order for salt back in October, but claimed the subsequent bidding process produced just one bid, from the company that already partially delivered and is still waiting for a six figure payment.

At the meeting Wednesday night, the town board unanimously rejected a motion to pay the six figure bill for the salt that was delivered.

While this continues to play out, Gasser’s attorney said Gasser has no plans to resign and the roads are still being salted as needed.

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