Janesville50°

Darien to build new village hall

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Catherine W. Idzerda
April 24, 2013

— After 10 years of work, a new Darien Village Hall is finally going to be built.

Last week, Village Administrator Diana Dykstra announced the Darien Community Development Authority agreed to move forward with a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture designed to help rural communities.

This week, the community development authority will meet again to approve final plans for the building.

"The whole goal of the CDA is to spur redevelopment in the downtown by showing we're investing in the community," Dykstra said.

That investment will total $1.1 million.

Of that, $43,000 comes from a community development block grant. Another $250,000 will come from money the village set aside for the project. The remaining amount will come from a loan with 3 percent interest and a 40-year repayment schedule, Dykstra said.

In addition, the department of agriculture has agreed to wait 16 months for the first payment. The time will allow the village to pay off another debt before acquiring a new one.

"That way, there will not be any impact on the tax rolls," Dykstra said.

The village will pay an estimated $60,000 a year toward the debt, according to Dave Wagner from Ehlers, the village's financial planning consultant.

The new Village Hall will be 7,900 square feetó3,994 square feet of new construction and the rest remodeled space, Dykstra said.

The remodeled portion will include significant parts of the current Village Hall and fire department.

Dykstra said she only expects minor changes in the final design.

Groundbreaking for the new building could be this fall.

"When I was hired, they told me that a new Village Hall was one of our top goals," Dykstra said. "That was three years ago. This is amazing. It's a monumental happening for our village."



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