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Former St. Charles economic development director Aiston heads to Batavia

Published: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 6:20 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013 8:30 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Batavia aldermen are set to vote Monday on hiring former St. Charles economic development director Chris Aiston as an independent contractor for economic development services.

As proposed, Aiston would be paid an annual retainer of $88,000, to be paid biweekly in equal payments of $3,384. Meredith Hannah had been the city's economic development analyst since July 2008, but Hannah left the part-time post in February.

"It's cheaper for the city to have a consultant than hiring a full-time employee," City Administrator Bill McGrath said. "It would have cost another 20 to 25 percent to have someone full-time."

McGrath said 33 percent of Aiston's salary could be funded through the downtown's tax increment financing districts.

"This is a common practice used by other communities," McGrath said.

Because he would be a consultant, Aiston would not receive benefits, McGrath said. Aiston left his St. Charles post in July. He had been there since 2009. He has more than 20 years of experience in planning, zoning and economic development, including stints in Geneva, Kane County and DeKalb County, in addition to St. Charles.

"He's got a lot of experience right here in the county," McGrath said. "There's not a lot of training that will happen."

If aldermen approve Aiston's contract, Aiston would start work as soon as Aug. 19.

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