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Mayor Bill Ingold told the Paxton City Council that it looks like the long-discussed first phase of the downtown streetscape improvement project will go forward this year. Ingold said Springfield has approved everything and that bids can be let soon for the more than $1 million project. The goal is to have it completed by the mid-September Swine & Dine barbecue festival. It was hoped that the work would have been done last summer but the pandemic interfered with that.

Work this summer will involve the resurfacing of four blocks of Market Street, from Orleans to Holmes streets, and new concrete sidewalks on both sides of the 100 block of North Market Street. Also in that same block will be the installation of historic-looking, 16-foot-tall pedestrian lights. Also planned--stamped concrete paving or brick paver banding added behind the curbs there.

The plan also calls for curb bump outs to be added to the intersections on each end of the 100 block of North Market Street at both State Street and Pells Street. The bump outs will protrude into the two intersections’ four corners. Each bump out will also feature handicapped-accessible ramps from the street.

Also the council approved the low bid from Iroquois Paving for street work to be paid with motor fuel tax funds. The company’s bid was $137,330 below the engineer’s estimate of $161, 300. But the council agreed they would like to add to the scope of the work to equal the larger amount of money.

Also the council agreed to spend $21,000 to tap into the city water line and extend the city sewer to the north side of the intersection of W. Ottawa Road and county road 1800 E. Mark Rust plans to put up a car wash there and hopes to have it up and running by October.

Also the council agreed to use $$34,000 in TIF district funds to pave and install a culvert on Jack Street in front of two homes as part of an earlier annexation agreement. The Kulows and Swans own the two homes.

Also the council agreed to donate to the chamber of commerce $6000 to go toward the cost of putting on the barbeque festival. The city has contributed that amount in previous years.

Also the council voted to spend $5000 for advertising with the Rantoul Sports Complex with the idea that the chamber and Paxton Pride would cover half. The city is already spending $2500 with the organization to have the back cover of a paper pamphlet given to every attendee advertise Paxton as a place to shop, eat and stay and including a QR code. When scanned, that QR code links to a completely revamped city website that Ingold said should include a mention of every business in town. Also the city will be able to use an application that will track just how many people accessed the code, when and where they were when they did so. Comptroller Tammy Jensen did all the work on the website.

Also the council learned that the standpipe for water storage near the cemetery will be inspected June 21. Since the tank will be emptied just halfway the whole process will take just two days and no boil order will need to be issued. Also city officials continue to urge residents to contact city hall to set up an appointment to have their old water meter replaced. Jensen continues to place that notice on water bills and on the website.

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