McHenry, Johnsburg back Fox Waterway Agency

McHENRY – The city of the McHenry is the latest to throw its support behind the Fox Waterway Agency.

The McHenry City Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday evening opposing proposed legislation that would eliminate the agency. The Johnsburg Village Board has also approved a similar resolution.

The bill, sponsored by State Sen. Terry Link, D-Waukegan, and Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield, is designed to eliminate redundancies in government by consolidating the agency's responsibilities with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Link said.

The Fox Waterway Agency has been responsible for dredging the lakes, collecting user fees and performing rescues since the agency was created in 1983, according to agency employees.

The agency typically partners with the 27 municipalities in their area if they have the people and equipment available, said Rob Rinkenberger, superintendent and employee of 17 years. 

"They talk about the 7,200 agencies that we have in the state and that there's so much more that we need to get rid of them," McHenry Alderman Andy Glab said. "It's very concerning and almost humorous that they pick out Fox waterway management, that doesn't cost the taxpayers [property or income tax] money then looking at somewhere else."

Alderman Robert Peterson agreed, adding that his boat stickers are one fee he doesn't mind paying.

"They want to take this money and put it in the Department of Natural Resources," he said. "We'll never see it again."