Upgrades at City Hall

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 3:26 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 5, 2013 3:34 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON – City Hall upgrade projects, a special planning session and a new planning director were announced at Monday’s meeting of the Princeton City Council.

At this week’s meeting, Princeton City Manager Jeff Clawson gave an update on upgrade work to be accomplished at City Hall, dealing primarily with accessibility issues with the building. More specific information on the upgrade project will be brought to a future council meeting, Clawson said.

In addition to the accessibility need, the City Hall project also includes a few exterior repairs and possibly a small amount of tuckpointing. Inside the building, there will be a few minor projects to accommodate staffing changes. The lion’s share, or about $50,000 to $60,000 of the total expense, will be for an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) ramp or access. There will also be about $10,000 needed for the additional outside work and about $5,000 for the interior work.

At Monday’s meeting, Clawson also announced the city has hired Brian Gift of Peru as the city’s new planning director and zoning officer, beginning July 22. Gift replaces Pete Nelson who was recently named to the city clerk/human resources position.

Clawson also gave an update on a new “wayfinding” signs, or destination directional signs project. The plans for the project are now in the hands of the regional office of the Illinois Department of Transportation for a review of the locations for those new signs. Once IDOT has approved the project, the city can order the new signs and get them installed, Clawson said.

Clawson said there are 21 wayfinding signs on five routes which point people in the direction of specific sites like Princeton High School, Zearing Park or the Bureau County Fairgrounds. The routes are north to south on Main Street, south to north on Main Street, east to west on Peru Street, west to east on Peru Street and north at the Sixth Street and Peru Street intersection.

Clawson said he will not be sure of the total cost of the signs project until the state completes its final review. IDOT’s review may have an impact on the number of signs the city will need, he said.

The city does have $5,000 in its current budget for the sign project. If the project goes over that amount, the city will complete as many routes as possible this year and finish up next year. He does not anticipate the total signs project to exceed $8,000.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, Clawson announced a planning session has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 29 at City Hall. The same format will be followed as in previous planning sessions, with the council, department heads and himself discussing various projects and issues facing the city. The meeting will be open to the public.

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