The Jacksonville City Council took the first steps in getting the East State Street renovation project started last night. Jim Burke of Hutchison Engineering sought final approval of the nearly half a million dollar project that will completely change the look of East State Street’s appearance beginning with construction on June 1st. The letting of the project will begin on April 24th. Mayor Andy Ezard said last night the construction timeline is very aggressive, as he said the paperwork has the entire project being completed by the end of this year. Ezard said the project will cover East State Street from the square to North Clay Avenue, as well as a portion of North East Street. The portion on North East will create a ADA-accessible walkway from the parking lot west of Hamilton’s to Hamilton’s front door, eliminating the large step down from the parking lot that’s currently in place. The North East Street portion will also re-pave the municipal parking lot.
Burke told the council last night that the look of the project will be similar to North Main Street’s current look, as far as landscaping was concerned and the look of the street’s overlay with completely new drainage and pavement. The funding of the project will come partly from the Illinois Motor Fuel Tax, the city’s general fund, and state grants.
In other council business last night, the city amended their liquor license ordinance by allowing one more liquor license. The new EE license will be issued to The Filling Station restaurant that will feature Buddy’s BBQ on East College Avenue. A vacated liquor license was also issued last night to the new Future Champions Sports Complex, formerly known as Lenz Field.
Lenz Field had previously been denied liquor licenses by the council in 2014 and 2015. The vacated CC liquor license was left by the closure of On the Rox bar in the downtown area.
A new truckster for the Links Golf Course, 3 new police vehicles, a new plow for the Street Department, and 2 new utility trucks for the Water Treatment and Wastewater treatment plant were also approved for purchased. Hutchison Engineering was also given the green light to proceed with drafting out phases of the Lake Mauvaisterre boat dock project in Nichols Park.
The City Council will next meet on March 25th at 6PM.