MENDOTA – The Mendota City Council heard more information about a downtown project and approved several items at its April 15 regular meeting.
Alderman Bill Hunt reported on the Imagine Illinois Avenue project, which is aimed at upgrading and beautifying Illinois Avenue in downtown Mendota. Hunt said the city has committed $353,000 to the project. It was learned that some work will need to be done to upgrade the sanitary sewer, the storm sewer has some broken tile that will need to be addressed, and water main services that contain lead will need to be replaced.
“We need to enhance the downtown area if we are ever going to get any new retail businesses move in there,” said Hunt. “We need to take a stand and improve the city.
“We have a good group of people working on this project. People are behind this and want to see this come to fruition.”
Hunt added that the street and sidewalks will be replaced, initially from Washington Street to Jefferson Street. The project will commence this year with a tentative completion date of 2020 before the Sweet Corn Festival.
In a related item, Hunt reported that there was a sizeable turnout for an Imagine Illinois Avenue “Celebrate Spring” fun day that was held April 13 at Veterans Park. The event included food, games, crafts for children and a visit from the Easter Bunny.
Alderman Walt Weiland, in his last full meeting before departing the council, said he was happy to see a nice turnout at the polls on election day April 2, and he wishes good luck to new council members as they come on board in May.
It was also the last full meeting for alderman Randy Morris, who did not run for re-election. During his report, the council approved Fiscal Year 2020 license renewals.
Alderman John Holland, who won re-election in the Second Ward, presented the annual wage ordinance for non-union employees, which was approved by the council. Holland said there will be a 2 percent increase across the board.
Alderman John Pierson, reporting for an absent Jim Fitzpatrick, said that a one-day LaSalle County Electronics Recycling event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Mendota Civic Center. The time of the event and more information will be given closer to the date. There will be a $25 drop-off charge per TV and computer monitor. The event is open to all LaSalle County residents.
During Mayor David Boelk’s report, the council approved a request from Mendota VFW Post #4079 to hold its annual Poppy Day on Friday, May 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the intersection of Main and Meriden streets.
Police Chief Greg Kellen informed the council of a strong-armed robbery that occurred last week at the Road Ranger at U.S. 34 and I-39. He said a suspect has been identified and is being sought.
Kellen also said that two Mendota police officers, Zach Urbanski and Lucas Kammerer, graduated from the police academy on April 12.
Resident Jim Sloan asked the council if anything can be done in regard to cleaning up the property at 1010 Illinois Ave., which is next to his residence. He was advised that the building inspector will look into the matter.
The next regular meeting of the Mendota City Council will be Monday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m.