Oglesby hopes to pay for capital improvements with federal aid

City to meet with flooded residents of Oakwood Avenue

Oglesby City Hall

Look for construction to take place on Columbia Avenue and Walnut Street this summer — if Oglesby can use federal COVID-19 relief funds to pay for it.

Tuesday, the Oglesby City Council placed several bids on file. Some are to fix one to two failing tanks at the iron plant (about $140,000) and the second is to upgrade the mains on the city’s two main streets for about $125,000. Whether the council approves these hinges on whether the city can pay for them with American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“I’m optimistic we can use the money,” said Mayor Dom Rivara.

Separately, the city agreed to meet with residents of Oakwood Avenue who are having problems with flooding. Whether the city identifies a problem and agrees to help fund it remains to be seen.

Mary Ann Stefenelli, spokeswoman for owners of the flood-prone property owners, asked Tuesday for a walk-through of the affected areas with city officials and staff to propose a remedy.

“We feel by working to resolve this issue, which was certainly magnified by (Monday’s) storms it will be beneficial for all parties by maintaining property values and the tax base,” she said, “as well as maintaining public health by minimizing unnecessary standing bodies of water.”

Rivara agreed to at least meet with the homeowners, though City Attorney Pat Barry said he believes the city has no liability or legal responsibility.

“We know we have problem,” Rivara said. “We just have to figure out a way to resolve the damn thing.”

Finally, the council is tapping the brakes on a proposed parking lot on East Walnut Street. Several concerns about the design have been raised and the city wants to revisit access.

Other matters:

  • Oglesby Summer Fun Fest yielded a profit of $21,694. Commissioner Tom Argubright said that figure slid from 2021 because expenses climbed and donations were “dramatically down.”
  • The council awarded a road repair contract to Advanced Asphalt in the amount of $210,835, to be paid from motor fuel taxes.
  • Republic Services will try to boost its curbside collection in light of Monday’s storm damage.