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West Dundee reaches out to Scottish sister city

Newly elected West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson.

Newly elected West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson.

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Updated: June 29, 2013 5:14PM

WEST DUNDEE — If some West Dundee officials suddenly start sporting tartan-patterned apparel, don’t be alarmed.

They may just be trying to assimilate to the culture of the village’s new sister city.

Recently, the West Dundee Village Board approved establishing a sister city with Dundee, Scotland, that country’s fourth largest city.

West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson is the mover behind the partnership.

“It’s something that the village hasn’t done before, and so I wanted to make it an initiative,” he said. “So we’re pursuing it. Shortly after I was elected, I reached out to my counterpart in Dundee, Scotland, because it’s obviously our namesake municipality. And they were amenable to it. They’re a very friendly group.”

Nelson said there are benefits to sister city relationships in terms of cultural exchange and economic opportunities.

“If there’s is an entity in the Dundee, Scotland, area that’s looking to expand into the United States, and if there’s a relationship that already exists, they might be inclined to look at us,” he said. “We have developable land and access to (Chicago). We can put ourselves in a position to attract development.”

Currently, no plans are in place to have West Dundee officials visit Dundee, Scotland.

“But with technology being what it is, we can still have a meaningful relationship,” Nelson said.

Village officials plan to send a formal welcome letter.

“And at some point in the future, we’d like to have a ‘twinning ceremony’ with them,” Nelson said.

In the meantime, village officials plan to establish regular interactions with their sister city.

“We’ll send photographs and information related to Dickens in Dundee so they can see how we celebrate Christmas here,” Nelson said. “And the same with Heritage Fest.”

Nelson said any future trips to Dundee, Scotland, by village officials would not come out of West Dundee funds.

“That’s not a municipal expenditure,” he said. “That’s typically something that would be funded with private donations.”

He’s excited about the partnership.

“I also think we have such a proud community, at least that’s been my experience, and I think most residents would like an opportunity to share with this culture and explore it more,” he said.

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