Oglesby to launch three-stage development of Senica Square

Downtown green space targeted for completion late next year

Senica Square is being lighted and will, in the months ahead, get additional improvements.

Oglesby Mayor Dom Rivara said Monday the city has begun a three-stage development program for the green space located east of city hall. As outlined, the city first will install lights and water and seating, then a small decorative fountain and finally landscaping and portable toilets.

“The lighting is going in now,” Rivara told the Oglesby City Council. “Hopefully, we’ll be done by 2022 or close to being complete.”

The green space has long been targeted for improvements, but these were thwarted by funding disagreements and, recently, falling brick from an adjoining wall.

Separately, the City Council received a positive audit from Hopkins & Associates, which said the city’s reserves have improved in recent years.

“Financials are great in Oglesby right now,” Commissioner Tom Argubright said.

Oglesby recently was awarded the 2021 System Achievement Award at the first joint annual conference of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, Illinois Municipal Utilities Association and Illinois Public Energy Agency on Aug. 25 in Springfield.

Rivara and Commissioner Jason Curran accepted the award that recognizes the city’s various electric distribution and generation system improvements, ongoing economic development, energy-efficiency and customer service initiatives and overall operational safety, among other categories appraised.

In other matters, the City Council:

• Agreed to applied for a Safe Routes to School grant. If awarded, the could receive up to $250,000 for sidewalk repair and construction, albeit with a 20% match.

• Completed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that gives the city until 2028 to complete a new sewer plant.

• Disclosed portions of the closed session verbatim recordings from two meetings (May 20, 2019, and April 20, 2020), during which the council was found to have strayed outside exemptions to the Open Meeting Act.