Keeping the township: Supervisor talks about surprising vote
ALTON – So Alton, unlike Godfrey, chose to keep its township. What happens next?
Current Alton Township Supervisor Don Huber, who has been doing the gig for more than three decades, said the vote surprised both him and the city. In fact, the two entities are working together to figure a good way for the budget to include the township indefinitely. Huber said salaries and benefits are the main expenses from the township, adding that he expects the next township supervisor to find themselves in a part-time position once his term expires in 2021.
Even if it would have passed, however, it is likely the law would have required Huber to finish his term. He said his office and the tax assessor's office, which is also under the umbrella of the Alton Township, provide the city with tax assessment needs as well as general assistance and aid. He said he believes a lot of the people voted against the abolition of the township because they have received that aid, or know someone close to them who has, and worried it would not be available to people if the township were to be dissolved.
While room in the city's budget is being made, Huber said the talks about what to do are cordial with each side wanting to find a solution best for everyone. He said it would likely not be a problem, ultimately, but said again the choice of the voters to keep the township was not expected.
Most of the expenses to the township come from salary and benefits, like many government agencies. Huber said the township owns the building they share with the Caravan Resale Shop, and said if someone magnanimous would like to purchase the building with some agreement they can stay at a fixed rent rate, it could prove to be a decent windfall for their budget.
“They're wonderful, what they do is wonderful,” Huber said of Caravan, which is managed by the Oasis Women's Center. “They're helpful to people in need who need anything from interview clothes to a warm winter coat. I would like to see that space maintain that viability.”
Short of selling the building, which the township acquired in the 1970s, Huber said cuts may be made during his term or in the future based on the choice of the voters. He said he would continue to work with the city to ensure everything is done properly and to everyone's satisfaction.
Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.