Delavan OKs street repairs
Using the money obtained in exchange for closing a handful of railroad crossings, the Delavan City Council recently approved a nearly $375,000 street rehabilitation plan.
The council unanimously approved a plan to resurface more than 40 blocks of streets in 2013, using some existing motor fuel tax funds and what is left of the $447,000 the city received when it agreed in April to close five railroad crossings to traffic. The price tag, including more than $32,000 in engineering costs, will be $372,971.50.
This year’s investment will be a continuation of the city’s recent commitment to improving the condition of the streets that began in 2009. Including this year’s effort, the city will have spent $1,000,045 on 83 blocks of streets since then.
City Manager Joe Woith said the reason the city has invested so much in the surface of its streets recently is because quality of life is a priority for the council.
“It’s part of our infrastructure, and our responsibility on our infrastructure is to keep it in good shape,” Woith said. “The farther you let it deteriorate, the more it’s going to cost you to bring it back to where it needs to be. And I think the people that pay their taxes in the community expect decent streets to drive on.”
Woith also thinks that the condition of the city’s streets plays a role in promoting the city for development.
“If I were a developer or someone looking to place a business, I would look at a community — how well it’s kept — and if all of its streets are run down and falling apart it definitely would be a negative sign,” he said.
The council seemed most distressed by two rough road scars leading into town that the city cannot fix itself because they are on Illinois Route 122.
Council members Mark Williams and George Mitchell wanted something done about the railroad crossing on Route 122 on the west end of town, where there is a bump so severe Mitchell said it could ruin the alignment of a vehicle if the driver hit it squarely.
There was also concern raised about a section of Route 122 near the Casey’s General Store on the city’s east side.
Woith pointed out that the road is state property so the city cannot repair it and the railroad crossing might be the responsibility of the railroad company. He said he would reach out to both organizations to see if they would do anything about the problem.