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Darlington City and Community Fire District meetings
Community Brief

By Brian Lund

DARLINGTON — The Darlington City Council met on Tuesday, April 2, with a light agenda.

The meeting was to have been anchored by an update from James Curran regarding his plans for Sienna Crest in Darlington. Due to the nasty weather Curran was unable to attend the meeting. It will be rescheduled for a future meeting.

In other business:

●  At the Plan Commission meeting, held prior to the City Council meeting, Amber McComish represented Lucky Cow Coffee & Gelato on Main Street, Darlington. The council approved a request to restore the brick building façade and paint scheme of the building.

The plan stated that they would be removing the old stucco and refurbishing the brick underneath and painting the door emerald with black trim.

Plan Commission member Kerry Black asked, “I don’t see it in their request, are they planning on removing the awning also?”

No one at the meeting could answer the question, although some answered that they didn’t think so.

●  The Republican Journal asked if the city will be acting as the developer of the Westcott property (a 20-acre, 30-lot residential development, near Union Grove Cemetery) or if an outside developer will be taking on the project.

Mayor Mike McDermott answered, “We would work with an outside developer, if one would come in. Otherwise, we’re hoping to get grants and stuff to develop it. Our main purpose of purchasing the property (at a cost of $350,000) is to get the well in there. That’s the only site we have available for the well.

[At a previous meeting, the city approved going forward with planning to build municipal well #4. Delta 3 will be performing a well site investigation, with the first step being an engineering report.]

●  McDermott noted that Delta 3’s Bart Neis reported he is coming along with the survey for the well project. He will have everything prepared and bring in front of the council in May.

Alder Steve Pickett asked, “How long will it take, once we submit plans to the DNR?”

McDermott answered, “Up to three years. This is just the first step.”

●  City Clerk-Treasure Amy Johnson reported that the Department of Justice came to do an ADA Compliant inspection of the city’s polling place and everything passed.

●  Approved paying the March 2024 vouchers in the amount of $269,198.

●  Approved hiring summer employees for the Swimming Pool, Parks and Rec Programs, Concession Stand and Umpires with a 3% increase in wages.

Darlington Community Fire District approves interim Fire Chief

A Darlington Community Fire District meeting was held Wednesday, April 3 at the firehouse. Current Fire Chief Scott Buttchen cited more duties at work and minor health issues. Buttchen said, “I feel like I’ve neglected some fire chief duties because of spending more time at work. There’s a great group of guys here and they deserve someone who can give more time than what I can, so I ask that you accept my resignation.”

The Fire District approved accepting the resignation of Buttchen and extended a thank you for his service.

The Fire District then approved appointing Deputy Brien Cleary as Interim Fire Chief.

A side note: Assistant Fire Chief Ted McDermott has been on a temporary leave of absence from the department for a couple months, so there is no Assistant Fire Chief currently.

Training Facility

The Fire District discussed the training facility. There was some concern about who had the liability. It was mentioned there will be two portable training buildings, a shed for equipment storage and the training tower will be moved from the camp ground area to the 1.19 acre training facility, located on Spring Street near the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The lease agreement between the Darlington Community Fire District and the City of Darlington was approved by the Fire District (it was previously approved by the city).

In other businesses:

●  21 calls for the year in 2024.

●  21 DFD members renewed their CPR certificate.

●  Approved the purchase of two new pagers at a cost $375 each from ComElec.

●  Josh Goebel reported back on the smoke alarm and fire alarm system on the DFD Firehouse not working. Goebel had cost estimates for a new system at $30,000 or to repair the current system at a much reduced cost (due to systems age, it was not clear if it could be repaired). Goebel will contact two local installers/repairers and go from there.

●  Approved paying half of the cost to re-letter some of the fire trucks at a total cost of $3,045. The Fire Department will pay for the other half.

●  Security cameras were installed at the firehouse at a cost of $6,985.

●  Approved paying vouchers.