Board agrees to pay for engineering and provide maintenance of basins

By Michael S. Hoey


The Village of Darien board approved two measures related to the planned reconstruction of Highway 14 through the village in the years 2022 or 2024 at its meeting Monday night.

The project is officially slated for 2024, but Village Administrator Rebecca LeMire said the Department of Transportation could move the project up if funding allows.

The board reviewed an updated traffic impact analysis from the DOT regarding the intersection of Highway 14 and Badger Parkway. The village would like to see signal lights installed at the intersection when it is reconstructed. The DOT plans to put in the infrastructure for future signals at the time of construction, but not actually put in the signals until traffic counts warrant it.

The village has the option of paying for the engineering for the signals with construction. It would then hang on to the hope that nothing changes and the engineering can be used when the traffic counts warrant installation of the signals, or, the village can wait until the signals are needed to do the engineering.

LeMire recommended the village go with the engineering up front because the estimate from the DOT for the engineering is $3,000 to $5,000. LeMire said that cost would surely be higher if the village waits and contracts with a private company for that engineering down the road.

The board approved paying for the engineering unanimously.

The board also approved providing maintenance of storm water retention basins the DOT plans to engineer and construct with the Highway 14 project.

The DOT plans to pay for the engineering and construction of the basins and was looking for the village to take over responsibility for the maintenance of them once they are complete.

Public Works Director Greg Epping said that maintenance would simply involve adding those basins to the list of basins and other work his crew already handles.

Village enters agreement with city

The board approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Delavan for building inspection services.

The village and the city had an agreement until the city’s building inspector left for another job in 2017. The village and city than entered into a joint contract with Municipal Services to provide building inspection services.

LeMire said the city has hired a new full-time building inspector who started in mid-October, so the village and city have agreed to a new intergovernmental agreement that will make the fees paid for services consistent between the two municipalities.

There are some differences between this agreement and the previous agreement, including:

  • The new agreement requires the new building inspector, T. Welsh, to have two hours of office hours a week in Darien. The old agreement did not require any office hours;
  • The new agreement requires the village to maintain software for inspection permits and have consistent fees with the city. The retainer for inspection services was reduced from $250/month to $200/month. The village will continue to pay the city 60 percent of inspection revenue for the services;
  • The old agreement did not require the village to make a minimum payment to the city but the new one requires a minimum of $5,100 in 2019, $5,252 in 2020, $5,408 in 2021, $5,564 in 2022, and $5,720 in 2023;
  • The new agreement incorporates a new state requirement that one and two-family residential permits be submitted online.
  • The new fee schedule established by the agreement raises the fee for a deck from $40 to $115, a driveway from $25 to $85, a fence from $45 to $85, a shed from $40 to $65, a residential re-roof from $40 to $50, a commercial re-roof from $40 to $325, a typical bathroom remodel from $312 to $459, and a residential single-family home from $1,819 to $2,314.

Zipp encouraged by school plan

Village President Kurt Zipp recently asked for two appraisals for the former Darien Elementary School building as a committee of village residents that he serves on considers alternative educational options as a result of the closure of Darien Elementary School last June. The School Board declined to pay for those appraisals since it has no desire to sell the building.

The district is exploring placing a tuition-based, birth-to-three childcare program at Wileman Elementary School and moving the grades currently taught there to Darien for the 2019-20 school year.

Zipp had no comment on the district’s refusal to pay for appraisals but did say he was very encouraged by the prospect of re-opening Darien Elementary if the birth-to-three program is successful.

Zipp also said he would sit down with District Administrator Jill Sorbie if the program is approved to see what the commitment will be by the district to re-open Darien Elementary and keep it open.


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