Winfield wins award for deal with Central DuPage Hospital
A "groundbreaking" plan to boost its revenues has garnered Winfield praise from officials with other DuPage County towns.
The village recently won the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference's 2016 "Best Innovation" award for a deal with Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, which agreed to give the town a $900,000 annual grant over each of the next five years.
The pact between Winfield and CDH was signed in late December, even though the nonprofit hospital in downtown Winfield is tax-exempt.
Mark Baloga, the executive director of the conference, says the agreement is the first of its kind in DuPage and one of the first in Illinois.
"This could pave the way for how municipalities can work with large nonprofit institutions in the future to help defray costs and generate additional revenue for their residents," Baloga said.
Village President Erik Spande said Monday he was honored when Winfield received the third annual innovation award.
"We certainly had some very stiff competition," Spande said. "The other communities in DuPage County are known for their innovation. For Winfield to be recognized by other mayors and managers for some of the work we've done to help our local community ... I feel very proud."
The deal with CDH was reached after Winfield officials argued for months that the hospital wasn't providing enough funding to compensate the municipality for all the services it provides.
At first, the village board sought roughly $1.4 million a year from CDH. The hospital, meanwhile, initially offered to give the village an annual $500,000 grant.
"Our compromise demonstrates that municipalities can work collaboratively with large, tax-exempt entities to help pay for essential public services and investments in road maintenance, economic development, public safety and technology," Spande said.
Winfield will receive a total of $4.5 million over the length of the agreement.
Spande said the first payments will allow Winfield to improve services. For example, the village is planning to hire four or five new part-time police officers.
Winfield also was able to make additional payments to its police pension fund.
Meanwhile, the relationship between CDH and the town has improved since the deal.
"We've certainly been able to work on other projects," said Spande, adding that village and hospital officials are having ongoing discussions about how to improve downtown Winfield.