City hears concerns from residents during listening session
DIXON – City leaders talked about the different strides they’ve made with infrastructure and community projects Tuesday and heard from residents with concerns on several issues they’d like to see addressed.
The city hosted the first of four planned town hall meetings and listening sessions this year with roughly 30 community members at the Northwest Territory Historic Center.
Issues brought up included traffic and deteriorating conditions on South Galena Avenue, the need for recreation for teens like a skate park, electronic recycling opportunities, the safety of school crossings and the need for more sidewalks that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The city and the Park District are about a month away from completing the $550,000 Water Wonderland splash pad project geared toward younger children and families, and Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said they’ve gotten feedback about the need for opportunities for older youth.
The splash pad is one of multiple future projects that the city and Park District will look at partnering on, but talks are in early stages, he said.
Public Works Director Matt Heckman said the city will likely host an electronic recycling event in July, but the date is yet to be determined. They’re also reaching out to the county, which offers electronic recycling drop off at the Lee County Highway Department in Amboy.
City Manager Danny Langloss outlined a list of goals set by the City Council and projects that go with fiscal responsibility, transparency, infrastructure, public safety, economic development, quality of life and strategic partnerships.
Some of the accomplishments and ongoing projects include putting together a strong city staff, remodeling City Hall to be more customer friendly, the Viaduct Point riverfront revitalization project, the $2 million state grant the city received to extend the bike path west and east, the splash pad, the growth of the Safe Passage Initiative, the “Tell Our Story” social media campaign, business recruitment on Interstate 88 and committing $3 million to the fire pension system.
The city also recently won a $200,000 Safe Routes to School grant to make safety improvements near Reagan Middle School, is doing more work in-house that can cut project costs in half, and is gearing up for the next round of street resurfacing in a multi-million dollar, multi-year project to catch up on road improvements.