Grand opening for Roscoe Community Center set for April 15


Construction on the Roscoe Community Center was completed in March 2023. Photo: Nov. 2022

The Roscoe Township trustees will have a ribbon cutting for the Roscoe Community Center on Saturday, Apr. 15, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. Hoffman House has donated refreshments.

The first official event will begin half an hour later, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., when the Roscoe Township Historical Society will hold a scanning event when residents can bring in old Roscoe photos to be digitized. The Community Center is at 4562 Hononegah Road near Frances Lane and Prairie Rose Drive.

Scheduling the grand opening was one of the last decisions made before adjournment at the Mar. 8 Roscoe Township board meeting.

Community Center activities director Mary Ryan says they aren't scheduling other events yet but that will begin soon. Volunteers are already planning to offer classes on gardening and how to use your smartphone, and Ryan has many other activities in mind.

The Township will hold its annual town meeting on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at 7 p.m. in the Township Offices, 5792 Elevator Road, Roscoe, IL.

The 2023-2024 budget will be on the agenda for the next regular meeting, April 12, 2023 at 7 p.m. The board didn't vote on it this week because they needed to confirm a number.

The Community Center project was awarded a $704,000 PARC (Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations) grant in 2022, which the Township will receive on completion. As a condition of the grant, the board was required to engage an auditor to review how the grant is being spent.

The Township received $60,000 more than expected in replacement tax income from the State of Illinois, so the board voted to give $10,000 of that money to the Roscoe Township Historical Society for "exterior maintenance" (paint removal) on the 1841 Cross house. Though the historic home is leased to the Historical Society, Township Supervisor Bob Nowicki stated that the Township owns the building, their Community Center looks out on it, and this maintenance is needed to "save the brick."

Even though she is on the board of the Historical Society, trustee Elizabeth Lindquist voted against the resolution, She is on record as promising not to spend Roscoe taxpayer money on the Cross house, but the other trustees felt justified in approving the gift since this money came from the State of Illinois. Last May, the Historical Society paid half the cost of a furnace for the Cross House.

The complete paint removal and masonry repair for the Cross house is estimated to cost $80,000, so the Historical Society is still asking area residents and businesses to donate the rest. The bricks in the original structure were manufactured 180 years ago at the Roscoe brickyard, but the bricks were originally unpainted. It takes specialized knowledge, skill, and experience to properly remove the paint from the brick, restoring the home to its 19th century appearance without damaging it. And the brickwork itself is in need of repair.

The owners of three lawn care businesses were at the board meeting. In the end, the board voted to have Green Thumb Lawn Care continue to mow Roscoe Cemetery and Pinnacle Hill Cemetery, as they have for twenty years, while Rod Chambers continues to mow.Willowbrook Cemetery. Darri Busker of Sharp Cuts Lawn and Landscaping submitted a proposal as well. When he saw "Approve Cemetery Mowing Proposal" on the agenda, he assumed the Township was soliciting new proposals instead of simply approving their long-time vendors. Contracts for more than $30,000 need to go through a formal process, and though the Township has never spent that much on cemetery mowing, they plan to accept competitive proposals for next year. 

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