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East Main Beautification Could Hinge on State

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 128

galesburgIt may not be as easy as first thought to beautify the East Main Street entrance into Galesburg.
That was learned during a Galesburg City Council work session last night. City officials say in order to make all the landscaping and road improvements along East Main Street, including new entrance into the Galesburg Welcome Center, the city would have to agree to what’s called a “jurisdictional transfer” of part of the area into the city, since IDOT won’t allow such improvements as is.

The land in question is in Wayne Dennis’ Second Ward, and says he’s tired of waiting for the improvements to be made.

“I’ve been [complaining] about it ever since I’ve been on [the City Council],” Dennis said.  ”I think we ought to take it over, and do the best we can, for the entrance.  [It's the] first thing you see when you come into Galesburg.  You want something nice, and I think we should do the right thing.”

The improvements in total would be estimated to cost nearly$500,000, with costs being covered initially by Tax Increment Financing District funds. They would include decorative fencing similar to that planned for Galesburg’s three new grade separations, appropriate landscaping, and a sign for the Galesburg Welcome Center displaying local events.

The city is looking further into the jurisdictional transfer, and whether or not even a partial transfer can be done.  Third Ward Alderman Russell Fleming called such a transfer “shortsighted.”