PAXTON — The city of Paxton is hoping to obtain a $20,000 state grant to help pay for some of the remaining improvements to be made to Pells Park’s historic pavilion.
Mayor Bill Ingold said the city applied for the grant with the assistance of state Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, who said during a stop in Paxton on Wednesday that progress was being made in securing the funding.
“It’s moving along,” Barickman said. “You’ve got to work through a process, so (it takes time).”
The grant would come through the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Barickman said, using funds made available for capital projects.
Ingold said the grant, if awarded, would be used to replace the shingles on the pavilion’s roof, add flashing around its dormer windows and add white vinyl soffit to the interior ceiling above its seating area.
The addition of vinyl soffit on the seating area’s ceiling — which would match the vinyl soffit installed this summer above the stage — should give the pavilion a beautified look, while also reducing maintenance costs and keeping birds out of the rafters, Ingold said.
The city has already budgeted some funds for the work to be completed in 2020, Ingold said.
Considered one of the city’s architectural treasures, the 112-year-old pavilion, reportedly built using beams from a demolished church, had its stage area repaired and improved this summer at a cost of $17,500. It was the first phase of a project that calls for many other structural and cosmetic improvements.
Memorial for local trooper
Also during Barickman’s visit to Paxton, he said that he expects the state Senate next spring to consider legislation that would designate a section of Illinois 9 on Paxton’s east side as the “Trooper Marvin C. Archer Memorial Road.”
The legislation — sponsored by state Rep. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City — failed to advance out of the Senate in June after advancing out of the House of Representatives on Memorial Day.
“There’s talk of some new rules in the Senate for how we’ll deal with road resolutions (like this), so I think that will help (get the legislation passed by the Senate next spring),” Barickman said. “And certainly I plan to be supportive of something like this in the Senate.”
The legislation — which designates the section of Illinois 9 between Washington and High streets in Paxton as the “Trooper Marvin C. Archer Memorial Road” — honors the memory of state trooper Marvin C. Archer, who was 31 years old when he was gunned down on June 18, 1946, in that same area.