It is entirely fitting that the city of Dixon’s town hall meeting, to discuss what to do with a huge $40 million out-of-court settlement, be held at Loveland Community House.
The impressive facility, dedicated 73 years ago this month, exists because of the wise, community-minded use of a large sum of money.
That money was accumulated by Mr. and Mrs. George C. Loveland over their lifetimes. Local historical accounts tell us that the Lovelands had no children, so they decided to bequeath their substantial estate for the community’s benefit.
George died first, in 1928, and Emma died about 10 years later. At that time, the provisions of their will were set into motion.
The document called for the construction of a large community building for use by groups and organizations, with part of it to serve as a museum. Construction costs amounted to about $200,000, and Loveland Community House was dedicated Oct. 8, 1940.
Additional money was wisely set aside to cover the facility’s operational costs.
A fine example of pre-World War II architecture, the Loveland Community House looks like the type of building one might see on a college campus, not at 513 W. Second St., in Dixon.
What a gem it was then. What a jewel it is today.
An article on the Loveland Community House website estimates that, in today’s dollars, the construction cost would be $3.2 million.
In comparison, that is a fraction of the $40 million fortune won by the city from two auditing firms and a bank, in connection with the $53 million embezzlement by former city Comptroller Rita Crundwell.
City leaders have scheduled a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the basement of the Loveland building to discuss the situation. Speakers will be Mayor Jim Burke, Police Chief Danny Langloss, and Finance Director Paula Meyer.
Members of the public will be allowed to ask questions and make suggestions. The ultimate decision will be up to the City Council. Mayor Burke said the best interest of the taxpayers is paramount.
We hope that some of George and Emma Loveland’s wisdom and community-mindedness infuses Thursday’s town hall meeting and the decision-making process that follows.
Let not only today’s taxpayers, but those decades in the future, enjoy the fruits of those decisions.