Vandalism closes pavilion

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Due to recent damage, the pavilion has been roped off as closed until the next event or until a security system is in place.

The Aledo City Council met Tuesday, Sept. 6, due to the Labor Day holiday with a full council present. A lot of business was discussed, including the  yellow tape currently surrounding the pavilion in Aledo Central Park.

The council members viewed photographs of some of the vandalism that has taken place at the pavilion, including destruction of some of the soffit siding there. "Damage to the pavilion is why it was roped off," said Steve Moller, director of public works.

The pavilion does have some groups that have been given permission to meet there, which are being allowed.

"A very small number (of people) create a problem for a lot, said Police Chief Terry Dove. "With a few of them it's become a game or a challenge."

Last month the council discussed park usage and asked City Administrator Terry Dove to look into purchase of cameras for the pavilion.

"We're trying to protect that investment," said Moller.

"I think it's a bigger crime to allow it to be destroyed," was one comment.

Dove suggested he would expedite finding cameras for the area.

Master Plan

During the committee of the whole meeting Greg Ryckaert of Missman Stanley Associates, Inc. appeared to discuss his firm helping the city create a master plan for downtown Aledo.

Ryckaert explained the scope of the work his firm will provide to bring the downtown into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He proposes to do a limited survey of the downtown city streets and elevations of sidewalks and buildings.

Proposals for ADA ramps, suggestions for sidewalks meeting store entrances without a step and consistent hand railings are a few of the ADA issues. Missman will come back with a cost estimate for the survey at a later date.

Building owners will be challenged to make it look nice and make it safe, Dove said.

"It's time to move ahead with it," said Steve Moller, director of public works.

Alderman Chris Hagloch pointed out that much of this project will be Tax Increment Financing eligible. He wondered about what infrastructure work (sewer and water) will need to be looked at and improved.

Moller said a lot of the downtown's sewer has had a recent liner installed.

Moller pointed out that this is being done, in part, because of "a complaint that come to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.

Moller also pointed to street corners having issues. "I don't think there is one intersection that is the same," he said.

In March 2006 Aledo Main Street's design committee put together a streetscape project. Missman will coordinate with Aledo Main Street's streetscape plan.

In other business the council:

* Learned that Meminger Metal Finishing withdrew from a TIF redevelopment agreement with the city for an additional loan and replayment plan;

• By a consensus of the city council members, a College Avenue street closing on Sept. 24 in front of Beer Belly's for a customer appreciation event will be approved. Beer Belly's will serve free food starting at 5 p.m. that Saturday, have a live local band and celebrate until around 11 p.m. The approval is contingent upon proper application and proof of insurance.

• Approved a fall cleanup at the city garage from Oct. 5-9. The city will be taking bids for dumpsters for this project.

* Gave the okay for a Mercer County Homecoming parade Sept. 22, including a street closure on College Ave. All participants are reminded that throwing candy to the crowd is prohibited, although individuals walking can pass out candy. The council also agreed to close the east side of College Avenue to vehicles from City Hall to the park during the parade. The parade starts at 5:30 p.m.