News

Joliet getting a grasp of city-owned property

Council committee delays new study until it gets report on what’s been done since the last one

Joliet is not ready for another analysis of city-owned properties — at least not until city officials know what was done after the last analysis.

The Joliet City Council Public Service Committee last week tabled a proposed $130,000 study of assorted city-owned properties until the city determines exactly what was done with the last study for the same purpose.

Committee Chairman Larry Hug suggested another report now from the firm CDM Smith would amount to “re-chewing the cabbage.”

“They gave us a comprehensive analysis in 2017,” Hug said. “They scheduled it out for one, five, 10 and 20 years. We’re not even close to 20 years.”

CDM Smith in 2017 did an analysis of city-owned property that amounted to what may have been the first listing of all city assets and their conditions, along with recommendations and schedules for repairs, replacements or abandoning properties altogether.

“We’re trying to keep this a living document,” Brent Fraser, the city’s public assets manager told the committee.

Hug and the committee, however, decided the city should first compile a list of what action was taken since the 2017 report before hiring CDM Smith to provide another one.

“If they’re going to do reports and we’re not going to track them, then we don’t need the reports,” Hug said.

He asked Fraser to compile a report of actions taken since the 2017 analysis before the committee considers the new CDM Smith proposal.

Fraser said the city’s various departments have made facility changes since 2017, but the city has never had “one central person” tracking the changes.

“I’m trying to do that,” he said.

The CDM Smith report in 2017 was an eye-opener, outlining $65 million in renovations or replacements needed at 66 city-owned properties.

The listing included the fire station on Campbell Street, a building still owned by the city but no longer used as a fire station. It also suggested that the city abandon the so-called “Stadium Club” outside Duly Health and Care Field. The city has been trying to sell the building on Jefferson Street for private redevelopment.