For Christmas, Dundee Township employees received new offices, new furniture, a new address for their jobs; and residents may receive a break on the property taxes they pay for the open space district.
The gift bonanza started last month when Dundee Township officials moved their offices from the basement of the Fox River Valley Public Library District to the former Summit School at 611 E. Main St., or Route 72 in East Dundee.
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The offices have more room, more windows, and more options, said township supervisor Sue Harney.
"We're still in East Dundee. We're on the bus line, and we own this space," Harney said. "We'll be here for a long time."
Township leaders purchased the 4,850-square-foot space for $370,000 with money they have been saving. Along with Harney and township clerk, Robert Block, the five employees of the assessor's office will be working out of the renovated building.
"We have better exposure (to the public) now," Block said. "A new (outdoor) sign has been ordered to let people know where we are. This office gives up more and private space when we are working with residents who come in to discuss the general assistance program.
Dundee Township, like others townships in Illinois, operates two assistance programs: the general assistances programs and the emergency assistance programs. The emergency program makes available one-time stipends for low-income residents to pay their rent, mortgages or utility bills.
The general assistance program gives monthly stipends to township residents who have no other income.
Dundee Township's new offices also have office space for the two full-time and one part-time employees who plan and maintain the 862-acre open space district. Also, it has a larger room to conduct township meetings.
A month after moving into the office space, Harney learned the township's request to reduce the interest rate on bonds sold for creating the 1997 district was reduced from 5 percent to less than 2 percent. The bonds will be repaid in 2017.
"This reduction will save residents $70,000 in interest when repaying the bonds," she said. "We'll also add a year onto repaying the (20-year) loan, so we won't have a bump in payments in the last year."
"There may be a time when we could make the room available to other groups who need space," Harney said.
Residents who need to call Harney, Block or the town assessor's office will dial the same telephone numbers as before. Harney can be reached at (847) 426-9719. Block can be reached at (847) 428-8092, and assessor Michael Bielak can be reached at (847) 428-2634.
The township's website is also the same: www.dundeetownship.com/.