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Channahon welcomes new administrator

Village Administrator for Channahon
 Thomas Durkin
Village Administrator for Channahon Thomas Durkin

CHANNAHON – Channahon trustees Monday welcomed new Village Administrator Thomas Durkin to his first Village Board meeting.

Durkin, former Crete village Administrator, began his position last week. After the meeting, he said he’s looking forward to a long tenure with Channahon.

“I think this community has a ton to offer,” he said. “For me personally, it was time for a change, and I really felt I could make some good contributions here.”

Durkin said one of his priorities will be economic development, both for new businesses and existing ones.

Trustees at the meeting also gave final approvals for the Route 6 and Interstate 55 tax increment financing district.

“This puts us in a great position to see some economic development in that area,” Village President Joe Cook said after the meeting, “and it opens up opportunities for development of a lot of other properties, as well.”

A TIF district is an area in which assessed property values are frozen for a number of years. The difference in tax revenue generated between the frozen tax value and present-day value goes into a special TIF fund to be used for improvements to properties within the district.

Cook said he sees the area as prime real estate for such enterprises as hotels, restaurants and gas stations.

The Village Board also approved entering into an agreement with Rock Island Clean Line for tax abatements for the company at 85 percent of real property taxes for the life of the Joliet Arsenal Enterprise Zone, which expires in 2032.

Rock Island intends to build an electric converter station to connect electricity generated by wind power in Iowa to the electric grid near the old Collins Station in Morris. After the meeting, Cook explained the tax rebate is designed to help offset Grundy County’s machinery and equipment tax, which taxes machinery and equipment as real property.

Channahon also had success in obtaining road salt through a private vendor after not being able to procure enough through the state last month. Trustees approved a contract to purchase 750 tons of rock salt from Central Salt for $98.50 per ton. Last year, the village paid only $50 per ton for salt through the state.

The 750 tons will add to the 700 tons of salt already in storage. During last year’s icy winter, the village used 1,650 tons of salt on intersections and roads, which was an unusually large amount.

Channahon also entered into a contract with a new electricity provider, as part of the Will Electric Aggregation Group. Residents and small businesses do not have to do anything to continue with the program that began three years ago, according to Durkin, and letters will be sent out soon explaining how individuals may opt out of aggregation.

The 17 municipalities of the aggregation group chose Homefield Energy as the new supplier and approved a contract at 6.99 cents per kilowatt hour for the first two years and 6.85 cents per kilowatt hour for the final year. ComEd is currently offering a rate of 7.42 cents.

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