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Dateline Dixon: City on pace to complete most of 2014 goals

Contract for streetscape landscaping given to local company

A vote Monday is likely to put the process of crossing off another goal for the city into motion.

The City Council is expected to vote on whether to place a contract for a review of the financial controls on file. That review was among the 18 goals Mayor Jim Burke listed in January as worthy projects for the city.

By my estimation, the city is likely to achieve or be in the process of achieving all but two of those goals by the end of this year, with raising $200,000 for a Ronald Reagan statue and refurbishing the Galena Avenue bridge being the two that won’t be finished.

There are really five categories these 18 goals can be divided into at this point: completed or underway, expected to be underway, not likely to be completed, yet to be addressed, and ongoing.

To date, the city has completed the merger between Dixon Main Street and the Riverfront Commission, and restarted the petunia planting program.

But the city also has made considerable ground on two other goals: the downtown streetscape project and establishing an entrepreneurship support program, which might take the form of a mentorship program.

There’s a group of six goals that haven’t been started, but likely will get underway before the end of the year:

• Renovating parts of City Hall. The contract with the engineering company has been approved.

• Putting the contract for a review of the city’s financial controls on file.

• Burke has been reviewing codes of ethics for other organizations and municipalities, and will likely present something to the City Council for approval before the end of the year.

• Strategic planning for the city is expected to start in the coming months and likely will include discussions about two other issues Burke wanted explored: growing the city’s population and a master plan for the airport.

Some of Burke’s goals are things he wants the city to do and continue to do and should be considered ongoing, like “continue prudent financial management policy and efficient operation of city departments by professional, well-trained employees.”

Also included in this group is the goal of working with local groups to make Dixon a “mecca for the performing arts” in northern Illinois; financially supporting local entities such as The Next Picture Show and Main Street; and continue the expanded street maintenance program.

Finally, there are two goals that have yet to be addressed, but might still happen or start to progress before the end of the year: obtaining national designation as a bicycle-friendly community; and obtaining public support “for a first-class waterpark incorporated into Veterans Memorial Pool.”


Monday, the city waived the bidding process for landscaping work for the downtown streetscape project and awarded the contract for the work to Dreamscapes by Dennis for about $53,000, Commissioner Jeff Kuhn said.

The city had advertised for bids, but didn’t receive any. Waiving the process allowed the city to speed up the search for a company from about 2 weeks to about a week, Kuhn said.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at or at 815-625-3600, ext. 5529. Follow him on Twitter: @MattMencarini

SVM reporter at Books on First today

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini will have "office hours" from 1 to 2 p.m. today at Books on First, 202 W. First St.

Feel free to stop by and let him know what's on your mind. Is there a story in Dixon you think should be reported? Stop by to share or just to say hi.

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