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Finding one’s way

SPRING VALLEY — A Spring Valley business owner wants the city to direct more people to the downtown and other businesses by buying signage using tax increment financing (TIF) district money.

The “way-finding” signs would be used to direct people to thrift shops, antique stores, etc. — much in the same way as those in the village of Utica.

“I want to encourage the council to use that money,” pawn shop owner Chris Drewel said.

Economic Director Debb Ladgenski said she had provided the council with a proposal in the past about the signage. No other action was taken.

In other business:

• Mayor Walt Marini said he has recently talked with Nora Fesco-Ballerine from North Center Illinois Council of Governments about possible grants for the bridge lighting project. Marini said there is a possibility for a 50/50 or even 80/20 grant.

• Congressman Adam Kinzinger toured the city’s wastewater treatment plant recently, and while he wasn’t able to come up with any money directly, he said he would do whatever he can to hasten the Federal Emergency Management Agency process.

City engineer Larry Good said he had a meeting with FEMA representatives early that day. “Hopefully, we’ll be getting some feedback from them very soon,” Good said.

• Alderman Chuck Hanson said the council had come to a consensus about the street program. The city will pave Seventh Street between Hennessey and Spalding streets at a cost of $18,837 and the corner of John Mitchell and Devlin streets for $14,190. They are also waiting to hear back from the township about partnering to fix the industrial park road.

• Alderman Dan McFadden asked about the progress with the various rundown downtown buildings. City attorney Jim Andreoni said the city is looking to contact further title holders and work toward demolition of a particularly hazardous building.

• City council members approved a non-TIF revitalization grant for Verucchi’s Restaurant.

• The council also approved changing the yield signs at the east and westbound lanes of First and Spalding streets to a stop sign.

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