Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Darien waives construction fees

by Chris Schultz

March 08, 2012

DARIEN — In an effort to attract attention, this village of 1,500 is waiving impact fees on residential and commercial developments for the next 12 months.

The Darien Village Board agreed to waive the fees at its February meeting, said Diana Dykstra, village administrator.

Dykstra said the Village Board wants to attract developers.

"We were kind of hoping people would pick up on this," Dykstra said. "We have several shovel-ready sites that are bank-owned."

Before the economic downturn in 2008, the village was anticipating nearly 250 new homes that did not happen, she said.

The board decided that waiving the impact fees might spur the development that was waylaid by the recession and mortgage crisis.

Impact fees are a one-time charge intended to offset the burden new construction puts on municipal water service, emergency fire service, libraries and parks, Dykstra said.

The village charged an impact fee of $3,321 for residences and $16,600 for a commercial building, Dykstra said.

However, the Village Board couldn't waive all impact fees in the village, she said.

Walcomet, the regional utility which provides sewer service to the village, charges an impact fee of $4,157 per house, Dykstra said. The Village Board can't waive that, she said.

Mike Murphy, president and CEO of Community Bank, Delavan, praised the Village Board for its "innovative and bold move."

He said he hopes that the fee waiver will "create energy and excitement" among those in the building industry, or those just looking for a site for a new home.

Community Bank owns 49 residential lots in On The Ponds subdivision N4901 Dam Road. The bank is listing the lots for between $13,500 and $15,500, Murphy said.

"Saving money for people who build is big," Murphy said.

Dykstra said the Village Board will also review inspection fees to make sure they are in line with other communities.