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Silas Parking Accommodations Approved

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 229

The Galesburg City Council approved a measure that will effectively allow for expanded parking near Silas Willard Elementary.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, aldermen considered a measure that would accommodate the additional parking along Fifer Street. The spaces were considered necessary while construction of the new Silas Willard Elementary is ongoing.

District 205 Superintendent Bart Arthur says it’s not a great situation, but it’s the best they can do.

“Let the parents drive on [Willard] and let their kids off, that used to be the bus-only route and it’s worked so far and we’re going to have to monitor it, because parking and traffic are terrible at Silas, that’s just the way it is,” says Arthur.

With the approval, parents and faculty would have closer parking, but District 205 would ultimately be responsible for paving the space. Signage would also be supplied by the school district and adopted into the City Traffic Codes.

Seventh Ward Alderman Jeremy Karlin urged patience from the community while the project is being completed.

“I’ve dropped off my son a couple days now, in fact two specifically, and it’s not been easy and it’s not going to get any easier, so hopefully everyone remains patient and calm, we’re going to get this really cool school in about a year,” says Karlin.

The measure passed unanimously.

The City Council was a little less pleased with the progress being made on the City’s Landscape ordinance. That measure was initially brought up and proposed for changes alongside the development of a new Casey’s General Store.

Another six month suspension of the Landscape ordinance was approved, last night.

Sixth Ward Alderman Wayne Allen has repeatedly cited the rules in Galesburg as too restrictive. Plans are in the works to make the ordinances more amicable to both landscapers and contractors.

Allen says the six-month extension will give a group being overseen to come up with improvements.

“We’ve been following the progress of the building that’s going on right now, asking the builders what they need,” says Allen. “What would work best for them, getting some contract, going back to when this was in effect, counting all of the dead trees, bushes, what were the ill-effects of it. It’s strictly research right now.”

Nonetheless, aldermen suggested the process be hurried along.

There has been no word on when rules will be ready, but are for now expected to be ready for a vote within the six month extension time frame.