Dixon mayor: Many docks will be needed
Panel looks at proposals; maintenance an issue
DIXON – Docks will quickly prove popular once they're installed in the Rock River in downtown Dixon, the mayor said Saturday.
Mayor Jim Burke spoke Saturday during a meeting of the Riverfront Commission's subcommittee of boating enthusiasts, which is looking at two proposals for docks east of the Peoria Avenue bridge on the south side of the Rock River.
One proposal called for docks farther out in the river, with 14 boats able to dock at one time. The other proposal, with angled docks that wouldn't extend as far, would allow for 10.
Burke said no such docks are available now between Dixon and Sterling-Rock Falls.
"We will be astounded at how many people will use the docks," Burke said. "We'll find them totally inadequate. Fourteen is not close to adequate."
Riverfront Commission member Priscilla Brickley said she didn't oppose the docks but she was concerned about who would do the maintenance. As it is, she said, the commission struggles to pay for maintenance at the upper level of the Riverfront at Heritage Crossing.
"It's got to be addressed," Burke said.
Vern Gottel, a subcommittee member, said volunteers wouldn't be sufficient, especially in a flooding disaster when the docks would have to be immediately removed. The Riverfront Commission, he said, would have to work something out with the city or park district.
Under each proposal, the cost would be about $100,000, although the commission needs to firm up the prices, said Scott Brown, an engineer who is volunteering his time for the project.
Burke is optimistic the commission would get help with the costs.
"We have a great opportunity with a grant application with DNR [Illinois Department of Natural Resources]. The time couldn't be better because of the lack of docking facilities between here and Rock Falls," the mayor said.
The commission also is raising funds to help pay for the project. On July 28, it is holding the Midsummer Jubilee, a semiformal dinner and dance under a tent at the Riverfront. Some of the proceeds will benefit the docks.
On Saturday, subcommittee members generally agreed on some of the features of the structure involving the angled docks, But they wanted to make the docks perpendicular to the river. In so doing, they hoped to have space for more boats.
Brown said he would come back with the plans to reflect the subcommittee's wishes. The panel plans to meet July 28.
The Riverfront Commission's subcommittee of boating enthusiasts will meet at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Dixon Main Street, 115 S. Hennepin Ave.
The next regular meeting of the Riverfront Commission is at 6 p.m. July 10 in the council chambers at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.
Contact City Hall at 815-288-1485 for agendas and minutes.
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