Streetscape planning underway in Dixon

Agreement placed on file Monday, same day as first meeting

DIXON – Monday afternoon, representatives from two local engineering firms had the first of what will be several meetings about Dixon’s streetscape project. Monday night, the agreement between those firms and the city was revealed.

During its regular meeting, the Dixon City Council placed the agreement for preliminary engineering services with Wendler Engineering Services Inc. and Willett Hofmann and Associates on file for public review.

The agreement will pay the two firms a combined $320,929.96.

Wendler will handle the west side of the project, which includes: Peoria Avenue from River Street to Third Street, First Street from Highland Avenue to Hennepin Avenue, and portions of Second Street between Highland Avenue and Hennepin Avenue.

Willett Hofmann will handle the east side of the project, which includes: First Street from Hennepin Avenue to Crawford Avenue, and Ottawa Avenue from River Street to Second Street.

The Monday afternoon meeting was between representatives of the engineering firms and the Dixon Historic Preservation Commission about maintaining historical aspects of the downtown and identifying areas to highlight.

The agreements included meetings with the city, Dixon Main Street and the preservation commission – six including Monday’s – but additional public meetings are expected.

Those meetings could be held after Jan. 1, Mayor Jim Burke said.

The engineering firms will prepare topographical maps of the project area, and will survey business owners along the streets involved.

From the meetings and surveys, the firms will develop a plan with specifications for streetscape improvements to sidewalks, curbs, roadways, traffic lights, as well as water main and stormwater plans, according to the agreement.

The firms also will assist the city with bidding out portions of the construction work.

The 10 1/2-block downtown streetscaping project could cost about $5 million, engineers told the City Council in October.

Ash borer update

The Dixon City Council on Monday also received an update on the city’s emerald ash borer treatment from Carol Chandler, of the Dixon Tree Commission.

Chandler said the Tree Commission has identified 147 ash trees on city property and has started to treat some of them against the emerald ash borer beetles, which pose a serious threat to the trees.

Treating the ash trees will cost the city about $160 for each tree every 2 years, Chandler said, adding that she hoped they wouldn’t have to treat them for more than 10 years.

Chandler was seeking input from the City Council and public as to whether the city should continue treating all 147 ash trees or remove them and replace them with a variety of others, as Sterling has decided to do

If the city were to treat all of its ash trees, which does not guarantee their survival, it would cost approximately $23,520 every 2 years, Chandler said. The city can buy trees, about 15 feet tall, from a local business for about $295 each, she said.

To attend

The Dixon City Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St., on the second floor in the Council Chambers.

Go to www.DiscoverDixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or for more information.