Aldermen, administration spar over street projects

Screenshot 2024-05-29 at 8.11.47 AM

Alderman Greg Fletcher (R-1st Ward), Alderman Jeff Bergman (R-2nd Ward) and Mayor Mike Troup. — Photo by J. Robert Gough

QUINCY — Libraries are supposed to be quiet places.

But with the Quincy City Council meeting in the Quincy Public Library because of renovations at City Hall, aldermen and members of the administration raised their voices Tuesday night as they debated how to prioritize street projects in the city’s seven wards.

The discussion kicked off as aldermen prepared to vote on a resolution authorizing a $445,931 reconstruction bid from Rees Construction for two blocks of North 17th between Cedar and Sycamore that includes the removal and replacement of asphalt paving, curb and gutter, and driveways.

Alderman Greg Fletcher (R-1st Ward) asked Mayor Mike Troup why he was pushing to alter five-year plans and shift funding from lower-trafficked streets to ones with more traffic.

“What about the people who live at 1637 Spruce, 1701 Spruce, 1700 Spruce, 1203 North 17th … and I can go on,” Fletcher said. “They’ve lived in this area for 20-30 years and all they’ve been as jacked around by public officials about getting their streets fixed. And when I got elected, I went around and I met all these people and I made a promise that I’m just going to get some stuff done for these people. And it’s took me three years to get this project to where we’re at now. And it’s going to get done.

“You do little projects, you do big projects. At the end of the day, they all add up. And then I heard you say that you’re going to have to reevaluate how you distribute award funds. What do you mean by that?”

Troup said street projects could be altered if the bids exceed the cost estimates, but said the road priority designations are out of date and have to take in account the sewer lines and water mains that also need to be addressed.

Alderman Jeff Bergman (R-2nd Ward) concurred with Fletcher that it is an alderman’s job to be the direct representation of the constituents and the City Council has final say on any decision, above the mayor and the administration.

“As far as the Second Ward is concerned, I would hope that you keep your nose out of the Second Ward,” Bergman said.

“The Second Ward isn’t in the City anymore?,” Troup asked.

“Well, what I’m saying is Second Ward projects are going to be done by Second Ward aldermen and the engineering department. It’s our responsibility,” Bergman responded.

“You don’t think the mayor has any responsibility for that?,” Troup countered.

“You asked for our input awhile back on projects, and it was overwhelming the amount that I gave you from the Second Ward,” Bergman said. “But I heard no feedback from you on anything about any of that. Zero.

“Our priority, as far as the second ward, is for (Alderman Dave Bauer, D-2) and myself to listen to our neighbors in our ward and fight like hell for every penny we can get to fix the roads that we think need to be done in that ward … Going forward, infrastructure for the Second Ward will be (planned by) Dave, myself and the engineering department. We will make the priorities.”

The project passed 11-0. Aldermen Mike Farha (R-4th Ward),Tony Sassen (R-4th Ward) and Mike Rein (R-5th Ward) were absent.

Two special event applications were also approved by the Council: One for Wing Fest on June 1 at The Scoreboard, 234 S. 8th St., and one for Makers Market on June 15, which is sponsored by Quincy Brewing Company.

Makers Market is usually held on Sixth Street but due to the construction going on, this year’s event will necessitate the closing of Hampshire, 6th to 7th Streets; Parking Lot I and Alley, east side of 6th St. adjacent to Parking Lot I from 8:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 15. The “No Parking” signs will be placed on Parking Lot I and Hampshire, 6th to 7th Streets, at the close of business on Friday, June 14.

In other action, aldermen approved:

  • The purchase of 78 Holosun 509T-RD-X2 red dot optics from Clyde Armory, Athens, GA, in the amount of $25,165.
  • A resolution for improvement under the Illinois Highway Code requesting to appropriate $228,057.60 of MFT monies and $1,021,942.41 of REBUILD Illinois funding for the proposed Harrison Street Bridge Replacement Project.
  • The low bid of $9,600 from Hoebing’s, Inc. for the purchase of a Toro Multi Force Mower.
  • The purchase of paint from Ingevity Corporation of North Charleston, SC, in the amount totaling $20,508.40.
  • The low bid in the amount of $83,058.80 from Energy Petroleum for the annual purchase of motor oil, hydraulic fluid, and transmission fluid that is required for the maintenance and repair of vehicles and machinery.
  • An economic development services agreement with Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. to appropriate $100,000 annually for three years to promote Quincy as a travel destination.

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