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Article posted: 3/19/2013 12:01 AM

Darch delivers State of Barrington address

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Two years shy of Barrington's 150th anniversary, Village President Karen Darch Monday gave her address on the state of the village in 2013.

In fact it was 150 years ago, in the midst of the Civil War, that the area's residents began the process that would result in incorporation in 1865, she said.

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At Monday's village board meeting, Darch described the accomplishments of the past year in terms of both "ABCs" and by the numbers.

As someone close to the village board once told her, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it," Darch said.

She said there had been 19 net new businesses created in the village during the year, some of them significant job creators. The new Heinen's Fine Foods location has created 113 new jobs and the new Ace Hardware nine.

Despite the continuing impact of the emerald ash borer, Barrington's efforts to carefully manage "the little green invaders" kept Barrington a Tree City USA for a 27th straight year, she said.

"Trees are very important to Barrington and have been for a very long time," Darch said.

Sales taxes rose by 4.02 percent in 2012, a sign of recovery after the gradual economic decline that began in 2001 before dropping off precipitously in 2007, Darch said.

In addition to Ace, ash trees and the village's new adjudication process for prosecuting local ordinance violations outside of court, Darch's "A" category also included aggregation, which she said was saving households an average $26 per month on electricity.

The "B" category focused on careful budgeting, which has kept the village in the black and prepared for the next rainy day, Darch said.

The letter "C" on her list stood for cooperation -- working with other agencies locally, regionally and statewide for the betterment of all.

Monday's meeting was attended by Darch's write-in challenger for president, Mike Kozel, who said his strongest reaction was to what wasn't in the address.

Kozel said he found it strange that the speech never addressed the village's downtown redevelopment project and the amount of money and effort currently tied up in it.

Kozel said he's also disappointed the village fire department and Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District appear intent on going their separate ways at the end of the year. He said he believes the village fire department will be negatively affected by having a station on only one side of the railroad tracks.

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