Oglesby could seek housing grant

City interested in funding for residential upgrades

Oglesby City Hall

Oglesby city officials will consider applying for a grant to rehabilitate about a dozen homes in need of upgrades.

Monday, Connie Buchanan from North Central Illinois Council of Governments addressed the Oglesby City Council. She said the city of Oglesby, among other communities, could be eligible for $650,000 to rehabilitate 10 to 12 single-family residences.

“The focus is very low-income, elderly and disabled (residents),” Buchanan said.

She said applicants should expect meat-and-potatoes upgrades rather than decorative upgrades such as granite countertops – “You may want a Cadillac, but you’re getting a Chevy” – but one point of emphasis is improving safety in bathrooms, where accidents are common among the elderly and infirm.

“This is actually very interesting,” Mayor Jason Curran said.

Separately, a proposed behavior-conduct policy and a disciplinary proposal, are on their way to a labor attorney for review. But the vote was divided and council members have no consensus when the documents are returned for further action.

As previously reported, Commissioner Tony Stefanelli presented the council earlier this month with a draft proposal that would effectively hold elected officials to the same standards of conduct as any municipal employee. That proposal went through a line-by-line edit after city attorney Pat Barry spotted problematic language.

What came back was not unifying, however. Curran said he remains opposed to specific language that he believes infringes upon free speech and upon elected official’s authority to govern a city department.

“When it comes to personal conduct, it’s up to the elected officials to set a good example,” Stefanelli said.

What followed was a long and acrimonious discussion between Curran and Stefanelli. Commissioners Rich Baldridge and Greg McDermott declined to chime in and Terry Eutis was absent. The vote to forward the measures for review was 3-1, with Curran voting no.

Have a Question about this article?