Town Brook Committee still has big plans

By Nick Kovatch on December 9 at 1:11pm

Jacksonville leaders are hopeful the state will perform and help pay for a study that lays the foundation for improvements to the city’s main waterway.

Alderwoman Lori Large-Oldenettel talked about the status of the project at this morning’s Town Brook Special Studies Committee.

“We’re kind of in a holding position,” says Large-Oldenettel. “We’ve been having some conversations with the help of our lobbyist, Jeff Torircelli, and today we’re actually meeting with Illinois Department of Transportation and with DNR. We’re hopeful that we might be able to find some funding that will help us do the hydrology, or planning, study.”

Large-Oldenettel says the hydrology study would layout the true function of the Town Brook.

“This hydrology study would give us a firm foundation for, hopefully, a recreation trail or a pedestrian trail of some sort that we can put along the Town Brook,” says Large-Oldenettel. “Also, to potentially create some barriers to prevent trash from coming in. We won’t actually get that from the hydrology study, but long-term [it will give us] some of that more planning for the future of the brook. This will give us that foundation that we need.”

She says the study would cost between $50,000 and $60,000. The hope is the state would perform and pay for all or, at least, most of the study.

Large-Oldenettel says she hopes to have a decision from IDOT and Illinois DNR by mid-January. She says even after a hydrology study is done, the Town Brook Improvement Project is still many years in the making.

Also during this morning’s meeting, Large-Oldenettel shared the success of the last Town Brook Clean Up in October. She says a 20-yard garbage dumpster was filled about three-quarters of the way full. She hopes to have another clean-up day, and possibly multiple days, again next year.

The Town Brook Special Studies Committee meets again January 14th.