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Work Samples

Changes to snow parking regulations in talks for Joliet

Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and Interim City Manager Marty Shanahan are looking for the city to discuss the prospect of changing snow parking regulations.

The topic arose at Tuesday’s meeting after Shanahan took time in recent days to sit in on a snow plowing event.

“I observed firsthand hundreds, if not a thousand or more, cars parked on our city streets while I watched our plow drivers move around parked cars,” he said.

Shanahan said many of these cars were situated in front of homes with driveways, which makes the work of plow drivers less productive, less effective.

“It’s kind of a snowball effect,” he said.

O’Dekirk acknowledged that not all streets in city limits have driveways and said something has to give.

“I do think we have to revisit this,” he said. “I don’t know what the answer is.”

The topic of snow parking has arisen at community meetings in recent weeks.

“I do have some ideas,” Shanahan said, noting he wants the city council to vet them first.

Management of floodplain areas discussed

Also at the meeting, council members voiced their concerns for having to approve a pair of measures relating to the floodplain areas at the behest of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Several officials said they are not content knowing the city must designate the downtown area, and south of the downtown area bounded by the DesPlaines River on the west and the railroad tracks on the east, and from Ruby Street on the north to Hickory Creek on the south as a floodplain, to help support the national flood insurance program.

During the meeting, officials unanimously awarded a contract in the amount of $159,948.80 to Rempe Sharpe for the downtown floodplain levee and floodwall design project.

The city wants to pursue the design of a levee and a floodwall along the Illinois and Michigan Canal that if constructed could be certified by the U.S. Army Corp.

Joliet resident Damon Zdunich expressed his concern for the city’s predicament, saying the new flood insurance rate maps could hurt homeowners and their property values.

“The city of Joliet needs to challenge FEMA’s assumptions,” he said. “I know they have already, but they need to enlist local federal legislators to support this.”

The city intends to seek a letter of map amendment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to remove the new floodplain that has been introduced into the downtown area.

In a related decision, the city unanimously adopted a measure to amend an ordinance regulating development in special flood hazard areas.

City staff has been working to overturn the designation for the downtown area since 2009.

The new flood insurance rate maps are effective Feb. 15.

Other business

  • A motion was passed setting a revised date and time for and to approve a public notice of a public hearing for the Silver Cross tax increment financing district eligibility study and redevelopment plan and project. The public is invited to provide comment during the Joliet City Council’s April 1 regular meeting.

  • Officials amended the 2019 budget for purchase of seven snow plows with 10 foot widths for the city’s Roadways Division. The cost is $105,105.00.

  • The city council authorized the execution of an intergovernmental agreement between Will County and the city of Joliet for Mills Road and Briggs Street water main improvements and authorization of associated payments. The deal requires 90 percent of the project costs to be paid prior to beginning construction. Stipulations provide that the city must provide $52,863 to the county.

  • Council members awarded a professional services contract valued at $720,900 for the alternative water source study phase II to Crawford, Murphy and Tilly.

  • A motion was passed awarding a contract valued at $350,000 for the 2019 lead water service replacement program to Stip Bros. Excavating, Len Cox and Sons Excavating and Austin Tyler Construction.

  • The city adopted a resolution approving an addendum to the intergovernmental agreement with the state of Illinois for the Houbolt Road improvements. Council action provides the city’s project with state funding in the amount of $32 million, or an additional $1.1 million.

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