Governor Rauner Signs Rep. Peter Breen’s Bill That Saves Township Taxpayers Money

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed into law legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that will save townships money when they dispose of surplus wood chips generated through routine tree maintenance.

HB 2423, now in the statutes as Public Act 100-0054, provides townships with flexibility in the process for distribution of waste materials generated from tree and branch removal. “Our townships regularly take down dead or diseased trees and fallen branches, and those materials are fed into chippers to create mulch,” said Breen. “Unfortunately, there was no provision in the statutes to allow townships to deliver the wood chips to residents who would like to use them as a landscaping material.”

According to Breen, the new law includes requirements for notice to the public before distribution occurs, and also provides for either a random drawing or a first-come-first-served process to determine which residents may receive the wood chips. “This is a money-saving initiative for townships and the taxpayers who fund township services,” Breen said. “I know that in York Township it costs much more for the township to deliver wood chips to landfills than it would cost to deliver them to taxpaying residents who would like to use them.”

Milton Township Highway Commissioner Gary Muehlfelt said the provisions of the new law will allow service delivery to become more efficient. “This small change in the law will make a big difference in how we can dispose of the mulch that is created from our routine tree maintenance,” Muehlfelt said. “I appreciate Representative Breen's willingness to bring this idea forward and incorporate it into a new law.”

York Township Highway Commissioner Dick Schroeder agreed, and added that the new flexibility will be very helpful. “By allowing township officials to use their best judgment in how they will dispose of tree waste, our costs are reduced and taxpayers can have access to free mulch for their yards and gardens,” said Schroeder. “It is a win-win for the taxpayers who support township services and for residents who would benefit from the free mulch.”

The provisions of the new law take effect immediately.

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