Amanda Weisbrod

With enough room to house several offices and a spacious council chamber, Elgin’s new city hall building will be able to better serve the growing community, according to Elgin Mayor Allan Duffy.

“We really wanted to make Elgin shine,” said Duffy, who gave visitors a personal tour of the new facility at an open house Monday night. “We wanted to keep Elgin moving forward, improve city services and just really brighten our community.”

In 2018, more than 23 acres were annexed to Elgin’s city limits, which is the largest growth the city has seen in the past 30 years. Of those 23 acres, 19 will become one-acre lots for building new homes in an area named Indian Valley Estates.

As the city limits expanded, so did city hall. Instead of adding on to the old building as the city has done in the past, the Elgin City Council purchased the office building at 790 N. Eighth Ave. from W.C. Construction in December 2018 for $1.18 million, although it is valued at $1.6 million, according to Duffy.

Dennis Cross, retired co-owner of W.C. Construction, said he was pleased to sell the property to the city for a fair price.

“We were afraid (the building) would be pieced out, so we’re really happy to see the city get it,” he said.

The old city hall building will become the new Elgin Museum, and the current museum will be donated to the high school’s shop program, so no buildings will sit vacant.

See complete story in Wednesday's Observer