Town to loan village money for new Darien fire station

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Monday, May 19, 2014

DARIEN—Creative financing will mean a new building for the Darien Fire Department.

Late last week, the village of Darien and the town of Darien agreed to build a $1.6 million fire station.

The village and town have long shared fire services and will evenly split the expense of the new fire station. The fire department covers about 58 square miles.

On Monday, the contracts still were being signed with Gilbank Construction, the firm that will build a 12,876-square-foot station on four acres in the village's privately owned industrial park, said Diana Dykstra, village administrator/clerk-treasurer.

The town of Darien will loan the village up to $900,000 at 2.5 percent interest over 30 years.

The village has a plan to pay back the town in 10 years, Dykstra said.

“This is a creative way for the village board to get a fire station,” Dykstra said.

It's unlikely the village could have afforded to pay for the station—or even half of a station—on its own, Dykstra said.

The town of Darien is home to the Mallard Ridge Landfill. The landfill pays the town about $250,000 at the beginning of the year plus additional payments depending on the amount of waste deposited in the landfill. Part of the money is set aside for problems that might arise at the landfill in the future, but the town is also able to use it for operations.

The current fire station at 311 West Madison Ave., Darien, was built in 1972.

Since that time, equipment has gotten bigger, and the space between vehicles has decreased to the point where it was becoming increasingly dangerous for firefighters.

The  $900,000 loan includes $75,000 to buy out the town's ownership of the current station, Dykstra said. The building will be used by the village's public work's department.

Last updated: 4:38 pm Monday, May 19, 2014

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