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Darien receives grant for blight removal

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Catherine W. Idzerda
October 26, 2011
— In Darien, the village trustees hold old-fashioned notions.

They believe the village should save money—instead of borrowing it—and for the past few years they've been squirreling away money for a City Hall addition and/or a renovation of police department headquarters.


Their savings account got a boost of sorts last week when the state awarded them a $42,000 grant for blight removal.


The grant and money in the village's savings account mean the village is a step closer to its goal.


Diana Dykstra, village administrator and clerk-treasurer, wrote and submitted the grant application to the Wisconsin Department of Commerce earlier this year.


"This is the first grant I've written for the village of Darien and the largest grant I've ever received," Dykstra said. "It's very satisfying."


The grant will allow the village to remove three small buildings next to the police department and village offices on Wisconsin Street.


The grant includes money for demolition, checking for contamination at the site, environmental remediation, if necessary, and the repair of the storm sewer that is located under the buildings.


As part of the grant requirements, the village will contribute $100,000 to the project. That money will come out of the $250,000 the village has saved.


The total cost of a renovation/addition would be about $1.5 million—and that amount included demolition and remediation.


"The board hasn't put its blessing on any exact design," Dykstra said. "The project is probably a couple of years down the road, but this grant brings us one step closer."



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