Janesville75.2°

No sheriff’s contract in Darien

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ANN MARIE AMES
April 20, 2010
— The audience applauded the Darien Village Board on Monday night when the board voted unanimously against contracting with the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office for police services.

That rare agreement between board members and residents lasted briefly before the discussion turned to arguments about how to proceed with rebuilding the village’s depleted police department.


The board voted 5-2 to allow Sgt. Mike Maltese and Village Administrator Marc Dennison to continue creating a list of officers eligible to work in the village. The two will present the list to the board and the police committee.


The board will have final say on hiring officers.


Board President Evelyn Etten made the motion against contracting with the sheriff’s office for police coverage. The board should figure out a way to keep its current police department, Etten said.


“I don’t think we’re going to save any money with the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department,” Etten said.


In December, the board asked Sheriff David Graves what it would cost for sheriff’s deputies to patrol the village full-time. In addition to reducing the $477,382 the board budgeted for police services in 2010, board members hesitated to get back into the police management business after a yearlong legal battle with Chief Steve DeVoy.


Graves in February presented a $496,820 plan to patrol the village. If the board had chosen to contract with Graves’ office, it would have been the first such agreement in Walworth County.


The department has struggled to cover shifts and has been paying overtime.


In August, the board voted against Maltese’s request to interview part-time officers. At the time, the board directed the police committee to review applications Maltese had on file.


Maltese on Monday said officers must pass background checks, a test and interviews before he presents them to the board as being eligible for hire.


In other village news


-- Officials expect repairs to the village sewer mains to wrap up in August. At that point, work could start on the laterals that connect homes to the mains. As many as 50 property owners could have to pay to have their laterals repaired, board member Cheryl Kaufenberg said.


By that time, board members want to have a plan to pay for repairs. The board has not yet taken action, but options could include raising sewer fees, making special assessments, increasing property taxes or doing nothing.


-- The board approved a rezoning application by Steve Walter, owner of Walter & Son Waste Hauling, N3368 Highway 14, Darien.


Walter wants to build a manure storage tank on his property in Darien Township just north of the intersection of Highway 14 and Interstate 43. The tank would be 130 feet in diameter and 19 feet tall. The property is in the village’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.


The town’s planning commission will talk about the application Tuesday night. The town asked the village to take action on the matter first.



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