If you live in or around Durand, You may have heard some rumors regarding three of our buildings on the Square over the last month or so.

Winnebago County Health Dept. condemned the middle of the three in Sept 2020 and July 31, 2021, when the roof started to collapse there was some cause for concern.

The question was, is it a public safety issue with cause for immediate, drastic action or do we have time to figure out the best outcome for public safety and everyone involved?

It appeared, at first, that immediate, drastic action (demolition of one or possibly two of the buildings) was necessary when the Winnebago County Health Dept. deemed the two adjacent buildings “unsafe for public occupancy” due to possible failure of the Middle building.

They condemned the buildings on each side of it causing “closure” to a business and displacing a resident from another. 

As some are aware, the business did not close during this condemnation period. The Village Board was well aware and working in the background to remove the condemnation restrictions with the Health Dept. as it was proven that there was No Imminent Danger to the public to be in the adjacent buildings. 

God had control of the situation the entire time (though at several points, I personally wasn’t sure how this was going to play out). I’m grateful for everyone who was involved, and there were A LOT of people working hard. Our goal was to have the situation remedied before Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, so that the Biker Bash would not be affected. By God’s grace and his use of the amazing people in place where they were needed to be to make things happen. At 12:21 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, we got word that we were “all clear.” At 6:13 p.m., the night before the Biker Bash, we got the official letters saying that condemnations were lifted.

All of this happened outside of “normal” protocol and much quicker than it usually requires. 

I am proud to report that the middle building that caused the movement is under new ownership and is being brought up to code and completely restored.

The Biker Bash was a success on the 20th anniversary of 9.11 and of course, both adjacent property owners are back to life as usual.

There are too many people to thank but they know who they are.

Thank you all for trusting in me to lead the team. Our board and staff are to be commended for all they do. In this particular case, they gathered on off days, last minute and on a holiday weekend for two emergency meetings and a special meeting to address things in a timely manner. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I’m excited to see what the future holds for Durand.

–Mayor Hoffman

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