Need directions in Utica? Look down for sidewalk overlay signs

Village seeks to modify its sign ordinance in June, too

Utica is going to modify its sign ordinance — formal action is expected in June — but anyone trying to find their way around Utica soon will able look down for directions, too.

Thursday, the Utica Village Board announced the purchase of vinyl sidewalk overlays to help direct visitors to specific businesses and other points of interest.

The idea came from Trustee Kylie Mattioda, who learned the overlays have been successfully used in Naperville. She hopes to finalize a design and listing of attractions by Memorial Day and hopes to install the overlays at several downtown spots including the corner of Church and Mill streets and at the museum campus.

“I thought it was really cool,” said Mayor David Stewart. “Kylie did a fantastic job with it.”

Meanwhile, the ordinance governing other signs is getting another look. Residents and business owners can voice questions and concerns at a meeting of the Utica Planning Commission at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 26. Formal approval won’t come until the June meeting of the full Village Board.

Separately, the village renewed the lease for its portion of the Illinois and Michigan Canal. The agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources now is extended until July 31, 2027.

The village had worked out a deal with Springfield to do routine maintenance of the canal — “I think we’ve been able to maintain the area quite well,” Stewart said — and hopes to re-water the canal in the future, though there is no specific time frame.

Finally, construction continues on the roundabout being installed at Route 178 and U.S. 6. Stewart advised motorists to watch for new traffic signals — the overhead red lights have been taken down — and reminded motorists the project is slated for completion after Thanksgiving.