Roscoe Township Awarded $704,000 Grant to Fund Founders Park

Since we announced the Founders Park project in October 2018, our only focus has been to do what’s right for our entire community. Getting the best value for your tax dollars is always our top priority, so our first task was to negotiate the lowest purchase price for the 17 acre property at 4562 Hononegah Road in Roscoe. We did that. We negotiated almost half off the original asking price, taking it down to $277,300. We paid cash for the property.

We also partnered with the Roscoe Township Historical Society (RTHS), which is raising private funds to supplement our financial investment through the restoration of the property’s historically significant Cross Homestead. So far, RTHS has donated a roof, architectural services, and over 200 hours of labor on the project.

And now we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve secured a $704,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for the project!

Roscoe Township has not raised taxes, borrowed money, or taken on debt to fund this project, and we don’t need to. Even before the grant funding, we had a solid plan to build the 3350 ft2 Community Center entirely with savings. Apart from the grant, we have over 3 years worth of operating expenses in savings. When the project is complete, we’ll still have roughly $400,000 in reserves, which is slightly under the recommended reserve of one year’s operating expenses (and up to 7x more money than previous boards have held in reserve).

Rather than hoarding your tax dollars, we’re giving them back in a way that benefits everyone. Without the grant, the Founders Park project was already a sustainable, financially sound, and community-oriented project that will benefit Roscoe Township for decades to come. The grant makes the project even more fiscally sound.

In 2008, Roscoe residents completed a survey on recreation in the community. 58% of people said that they wanted new athletic fields and 63% said they wanted a community center. In response, the Township built Cross Park.

When the Roscoe Independents were presented with an ideal location, at a bargain price, with a historic home that could form the basis of a beneficial public-private partnership - we realized we had the opportunity to meet a community need. We named it Founders Park, we obtained a $704,000 grant, and we’re excited to continue to do the work necessary to see the entire project through to completion - at minimal cost to taxpayers.

We’ve already lost so much of our history - Ransom House, Nichols School, Lyford House, and many others. We’re grateful for the decisive action taken by the Township Board in saving this rare remnant of Roscoe history, in keeping the Cross Homestead from being destroyed and replaced by a strip mall. That’s leadership.

The Roscoe Township Historical Society is fully committed to restoring the Cross Homestead in a way that will increase the value derived from the community’s investment in Founders Park. We’re eager to continue this work with them.

Michele McAffee

Roscoe Township Historical Society Secretary

Vote yes for community. Vote yes for the Roscoe Independents.

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