Predecessor Warns Township Road Chief of Danger on Old Kirk, Cherry Lane

Mark Wissing to Mike Abts: "The folks that live in this neighborhood pay high taxes and are asking me why the new highway commissioner is doing the things listed above."

The campaign sign for Mike Abts.
The campaign sign for Mike Abts.
Former Geneva Township Highway Commissioner Mark Wissing sent a letter to the man who defeated him in the April election, saying Mike Abts' decision to cancel road work, change signage and pull back on salting of roads is creating dangerous conditions in the rural area near FifthThird Bank Ballpark.

Wissing's letter, dated Dec. 13, says Abts cancelled culvert repair work "that had been budgeted, funded, and started last fall" on Old Kirk Road and Cherry Lane.

Wissing's letter also says that since Abts took over in May 2013, the Geneva Township Highway Commission has increased the speed limit on Cherry Lane and Old Kirk from 25 mph to 30 mph, removed "no parking" signs on Cherry Lane and Old Kirk and stopped mowing rights of way and salting streets after snow events.

His letter also charges that "snow-packed, icy and rutted" roads are a danger to the 16 families that live in the area.

Abts defeated the incumbent Wissing by about 500 votes in April, after criticizing Wissing's spending and accounting practices.

Here's the letter, in full:

Mark Wissing's Letter to Mike Abts

Dear Mr. Mike Abts,

I am writing this letter to document the history of events on Old Kirk Road and Cherry Lane since you were sworn into the office of Highway Commissioner.

Starting in May 2013 you cancelled the remaining culvert repair work that had been budgeted, funded, and started last fall. Because the work has not been completed this last spring the driveways and private lane approaches under construction have developed potholes and are deteriorating from water run-off. The reason we have deep roadside ditches is because of the great amount of water run-off.

Next you cancelled the road pavement and shoulder repair that had been budgeted, funded, publicly bid, and came in under estimated cost.

Soon after you took control of the position as Highway Commissioner you increased the speed limit from 25 MPH to 30 MPH on Old Kirk Road and Cherry Lane. At the same time you removed the NO PARKING SIGN from Cherry Lane. This sign was in place to stop people from using the neighborhood location for car-pooling. We have very little police protection and the members of the neighborhood feel uncomfortable when strange cars are parked in the area.

You also removed the NO STADIUM PARKING signs on the North end of Old Kirk Rd. These signs were put in place after the July 8, 2012 Wilco concert at the Fifth Third Bank Stadium. So many people parked on Cherry Lane and Old Kirk Road that emergency equipment could not access the road in the event of a fire or other emergency. The sign were installed after meeting with Kane County Forest Preserve officials, Fifth Third Stadium management, Kane County Sheriff Officers, and County Board Representative Mr. Mike Donahue.

Mowing the public right of ways was not done by Geneva Township Road District at anytime this last summer. Neighbors banded together and did the work because the tall grass and weeds can conceal people and animals that could be waiting for prey that they can attack.

Litter on public right of ways was not picked up at anytime by Geneva Township Road District this last summer. Neighbors banded together and did the work to maintain their property values. Much litter is disposed by motorist on Kirk Road and collects in the tall weeds along Cherry Lane. 

The snow packed North end of Old Kirk Road has remained un-salted for each of the three snow events this year starting November 25th. This part of the road has 16 families living on it that are forced to drive on a snow packed, icy, and rutted road.

These dangerous conditions affect:

Three new resident teenage drivers and their teenage school friends that come and visit this neighborhood and are now in danger of hurting themselves and/or others. Also school buses transporting children use Old Kirk Road and Cherry Lane.

We have one very handicapped adult and her caregiver Mother that live next to me, which has to be transport to the hospital often. In addition there is one very seriously injured adult and her caregivers moving her to and from rehabilitation daily.

The icy road is a danger to the young children and pets playing in the area. We also have 17 horses and people that commonly walk and ride them on the roadway.

There are landscape business and farm land off of Old Kirk Road that have large trucks and farm equipment commonly using the road.

The Rail Road Crossing has been closed for years but we still have several semi-tracker trailers that get lost monthly. These big trucks can’t turn around and have to back out of the neighborhood.

The folks that live in this neighborhood pay high taxes and are asking me why the New Highway Commissioner is doing the things listed above. I hope this illustration of our neighborhood can shed some light on what effects the 26 families that live in this area. 


Mark Wissing, Tax payer and long time resident of Geneva Township.0N799 Old Kirk RoadGeneva TownshipWest Chicago, IL 60185
Chris December 17, 2013 at 07:40 AM
Probably for the same reason Biackberry Township's newest Supervisor renigged on Ride in Kane program that services our special needs and seniors.... Money all on the backs of our weakest and most vulnerable. Unacceptable to your families!! Keep up your advocacy...you deserve to be safe!!
Jim Radecki December 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM
Smells like a lame duck trying to slip in a bunch of improvements for his street. Township government should exist only to give a voice to people in rural areas and not provide services like maintaining a few miles of road. Adjacent larger taxing bodies can do it more efficently.


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