New Village Proposal
Calumet County -- Big changes could be coming to the Fox Valley, a new village is in the works, incorporating parts of the Town of Harrison and the Darboy community.
A public hearing was held Tuesday for people to learn about the possible changes. This proposal for a new village has been in the works for more than a year. Tuesday’s meeting allowed public testimony, but it also made sure the area meets incorporation standards.
Celine Romenesko has lived in Darboy all her life.
"Born and raised, right across the road," she said. She remembered it being a highway where cows crossed the road.
She supports the incorporation of the village, even if it means possibly losing the Darboy name.
"Because I don't want anyone to eat us up, and dwell us, and lose us," she said.
Romenesko is tired of the annexation of land from bigger cities. She said the area keeps losing more land each year.
That’s one reason for the village proposal, losing land and businesses.
"We lose that tax base, with no way to regain that tax base. And we can grow the area, but it's kind of hard to grow the area when it keeps getting eroded away year after year," said John Slotten, Town of Harrison Chairman
The proposed area includes four square miles, and 7,000 people.
"Once everybody sees the facts, it's a very easy decision to make," said Slotten.
Some might be concerned with property taxes increasing, but the chairman says taxes won't go up.
There are more reasons for a new village. A town cannot apply for TIF grants, but a village can. And a village would also gain new powers, to compete in the Fox Valley.
"It's historic,” he said. “There's not too many times you see communities taking this step."
But people who live here are still trying to make sense of it.
"I was informed, but I wanted a little more information to see if I was going to like this or not,” said Darlene Andrejeski who lives in the Town of Harrison.
If this goes through, there would still be a Town of Harrison, outside the four square miles. There's another public hearing coming within the next month. Then in December the Department of Administration will make their decision whether to accept the village or not, if they do a referendum will take place next February.