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Algonquin Township man waiting on highway department to fix property damaged by snowplow

Algonquin Township resident waits months for visit from road district

Steve Page talks with neighbor Rhonda Quick near Quick's mailbox Thursday in Crystal Lake. Page holds Andrew Gasser and the Algonquin Township Highway Department accountable for about $300 worth of damage caused by a snowplow striking ornamental brick trim in the winter.  Quick's mailbox also was damaged by a snowplow, and she is upset because the replaced mailbox is shorter and tilted.
Steve Page talks with neighbor Rhonda Quick near Quick's mailbox Thursday in Crystal Lake. Page holds Andrew Gasser and the Algonquin Township Highway Department accountable for about $300 worth of damage caused by a snowplow striking ornamental brick trim in the winter. Quick's mailbox also was damaged by a snowplow, and she is upset because the replaced mailbox is shorter and tilted.

Steve Page has waited months for the Algonquin Township Highway Department to make good on a promise to fix a landscaping block a township snowplow destroyed in February.

He refuses to wait any longer.

“They said as soon as the weather broke they would come by and fix my landscape block,” said Page, a 58-year-old widower who takes care of his 91-year-old mother at her house in the 4700 block of Amy Drive. “Well, that never happened.”

Page, a retired construction worker who voted for President Donald Trump, decided to call a contractor to rebuild the landscaping block – a structure cemented into one piece before the plow crumbled it – and repair damage estimated at $300.

Gasser did not respond to several requests for comment on the matter.

“I’m 100 percent Republican,” said Page, wearing a “Deplorable Me” T-shirt featuring a 3D animated minion wearing a Make America Great Again hat. “I’m not for people lying through their teeth.”

Page was one of many residents in Algonquin Township to walk outside after a February snowstorm and find plow-damaged property.

Rhonda Quick lives next door to Page. The 68-year-old retired English teacher and widow lives alone with her 12-year-old golden retriever, Oliver.

The day after the highway department plowed her road, the mail carrier knocked on her door. He handed her the day’s mail.

“Where’s my mailbox?” Quick said.

It turned out the plow had snapped her mailbox in half. Investigating the situation, Quick found her box toppled in the snow.

She called the Algonquin Township Highway Department to report the damage.

“ ‘That happens,’ ” Quick recalls the woman on the line telling her.

She learned that the road district destroys about 20 mailboxes every
winter.

In short order, it seemed, road district employees returned to Quick’s property and replaced her mailbox.

“It’s shorter,” said Quick, who had to adjust to the lowered mailbox that is planted a little deeper in the ground. “My mailbox got a haircut, and not from a particularly good barber.”

Page has struggled to get the department to return.

On May 18, after months of silence from Gasser’s office, Page wrote a second complaint to the highway department.

“All mailboxes on my street were repaired, although some very poorly,” Page wrote. “No repairs have been made here. I recently contacted your office and was told the highway commissioner would be contacting me. That never happened either.”

Page said he has flowers to plant. He would be contacting a contractor to fix the block.

“I shall submit the bill,” Page wrote.

The message was enough to get a call from Gasser. He left a voicemail. The highway commissioner’s message claimed that he tried calling Page three times to sort things out.

“Have a blessed day,” Gasser said, and hung up the phone.

It’s untrue that Gasser tried calling him, Page said: “Show me your phone records.”

But it was the way Gasser ended his message that frustrated Page the most.

“I’m a Christian,” said Page, who runs a food pantry at a Crystal Lake church and characterized Gasser as a “liar” and “spitfire traitor.” “You’re not going to end a message with ‘Have a blessed day’ after you’re lying through your teeth. I don’t buy it.”

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