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Board seeks $18K grant

Plum Hollow house being razed; nature center renamed

DIXON – The park board is looking for a little help to repair the upstream boat docks in Page Park.

Members voted Wednesday to request $18,375 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The total project would cost a little more than $24,000; the park district would cover the rest, said Deb Carey, executive director.

It’s the same pool of grant money from which the Riverfront Commission and about 70 other agencies statewide are seeking funds. The commission needs $177,000 to build boat docks at Heritage Crossing that are compliant with the American Disabilities Act.

Grant applications are due Sept. 8. Recipients could be notified within 6 months.

Also Wednesday, the park board voted to rename the Lowell Park Nature Center, 2114 Lowell Park Road, the Ruth Edwards Nature Center. It is used as an educational and visitors center.

Edwards, who was instrumental in its creation, died April 18; she was 92.

The board also elected to demolish the Plum Creek House, 620 Palmyra Road, and to pay $5,900 to Balestrieri Environmental of Elkhorn, Wis., to remove its asbestos.

The district put the two-story farmhouse up for sale for $1 in July 2007, to spare the expense of tearing it down, as long as the new owner agreed to move it and fill in the basement. No buyer emerged.

The house had fallen into such disrepair that it needed to be removed as soon as possible, park staff said.

Balestrieri’s bid was about $400 more than EHS Environmental Contractor, but the board was more comfortable with Balestrieri’s submission and past work.

The park board weighed burning down the home to save about $900. That, however, would require two older trees be cut down and a longer wait for a permit.

To attend

The Dixon Park District meets again at 6 p.m. Sept. 25 at 804 Palmyra St., in the park district office.

For an agenda for this meeting, minutes from past meetings or more information, go to or call 815-284-3306.

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