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Where the Rails Cross the River

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR

mayorimage

May 13, 2020

I think due to some downstate community efforts, the Governor has released a 5-phase Coronavirus recovery plan based upon different regions of the State. The plan is based upon the slowing down of the spread of the virus in our Region; number of cases reported, number of ICU beds available, etc. Accordingly, the Peoria Region should be able to begin reopening restaurants and businesses sooner than the Chicago area; hopefully by the middle of June. As Chillicothe begins to reopen, we can’t do it all at once. We still will need to be cautious; i.e., face masks, social distancing, etc. We can’t let up or we could slide right back into a shut down again.

I was on the wrestling team when I was in high school. And on the occasional times that I got my opponent on his back, I didn’t let up; I fought even harder to get the pin. So, as things slowly begin to recovery, let’s not let up on this virus – lets go for the pin!

City Hall remains closed to the public until at least May 30th. Staff continues to work inside. And we are having regularly scheduled Council and Committee meetings virtually. If you would like to virtually attend any council and/or committee meetings, please visit to City’s web site for schedules and to find the call-in number for public attendance.

We held a Council meeting on May 12 and proclaimed May 17 as “2020 IVC Senior Recognition Day”. This year’s graduates missed out on a few things during their senior year, but they will go on to do great things in their futures. Go Ghosts!

The Council also opened its annual Sidewalk Program. The program’s funding is temporarily cut in half due to a projected loss of overall revenue to the City. But, if your interested is financial assistance to install a sidewalk in front of your house, give City Hall a call.

And, funds were approved to create a City web site. Our current web site has lots of information but it is outdated and not very user-friendly. It should be up and running in August.

Progress in town continues. The sidewalks around City Park along Second and Cedar streets are nearing completion - thanks to a grant from State Senator Chuck Weaver. The CEFCU ATM project and the OSF medical office building are also moving along.

And, thanks to a grant from State Representative Ryan Spain, the City’s video billboard has been installed on Fourth Street at Beech Street! It will soon be up and running. We plan to use the billboard to announce and promote the many not-for-profit events that we hold here in town. Problem is that events have been canceled or postponed due to the Coronavirus. And so, for the time being, we’ll be posting general announcements and the like. Keep an eye on the billboard for more information!

We are working on a recovery promotional plan to help our local businesses bounce back from these “stay at home” days. You’ll start to see it posted on the video billboard and other places. We all need to cater to our local restaurants and businesses. They have supported us in the past, and during this pandemic; now it’s time we support them! We will recover; and “healthier than ever”. More to come….

More good news…. I think every household in town recently received a letter from i3 Broadband announcing that they are coming to town. The City met with their representative in early March to coordinate their installation in City right of ways and we have been anxiously waiting for this announcement. City-wide installation will start soon and only take a few months; probably done by September. They will be offering internet, voice and/or TV services at fiber optic speed.       

This week is National Police Week. Dave Hirtz, the organizer of the local Back the Blue Dinner, has donated banners recognizing our local police officers. The banners will be installed on the downtown lamp posts over the next week. Thank you, Dave! And, thanks to our police force!

That’s all for this time. See you around town!

Don    

       

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