However, one trustee wonders how village will pay for project

 By Michael S. Hoey


The Darien Village Board on Monday approved a resolution to cover the initial engineering and financial planning costs for a new village hall and police department building.

The village has been planning to tear down the Protect-All buildings next to the current police department on Wisconsin Street and construct a new building to house the Village Hall and police department. No formal timeline has been created for the project.

Monday’s resolution transfers $15,800 from the Village Hall Capital Outlay fund to the General Administration Office fund, clearing the way for it to be used to begin planning the project.

While discussing the resolution, Trustee Jim Abbott asked why the village was even still considering a new building at this time. Abbott said the fire department is looking to build a new building and possibly purchase a new fire truck and there is no money available in the capital improvement budget.

Abbott wanted to know where $1 million to build a new Village Hall was going to come from without raising taxes, especially since the village no longer has an independent police department.

Administrator Diana Dykstra said the village will be paying off enough debt that the new project will not increase what the village is currently paying for debt service. She said the village is also looking to get some state and federal funding to help cover the costs of the new building and has had discussions about putting off any payments for 18 months.

Dykstra said the village cannot raise taxes to cover the project even if it wanted to due to tax levy limits. She also said the Protect-All buildings need to be razed even if a new building is not constructed due to their condition.

Fire fighters take oaths

Seven Darien Fire Department officers took their oaths of office led by new Chief Justin Schuenke. Schuenke was hired in December and took over the department on Jan. 1. Firefighter David Kirkpatrick is also new to the department. Five others reaffirmed their oaths including Dustin Ransom, Dennis Cunningham, Scott Morgan, Brian Shinkus, and Bob Williams.

Dykstra said it was a new era with a new chief, a new direction, and a new energy.



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