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Peru looks to address sidewalk, alley repairs

A vehicle drives down an alley in La Salle. The Peru city council is looking to address repairs to alleys and sidewalks in town by earmarking $1 million over the next decade.
A vehicle drives down an alley in La Salle. The Peru city council is looking to address repairs to alleys and sidewalks in town by earmarking $1 million over the next decade.

Peru has spent millions of dollars in infrastructure around the city over the past several years, but some residents may feel their neighborhood is being forgotten when it comes time for improvements.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Peru Mayor Scott Harl made a proposal to the council to take care of some of these smaller projects around town that may get lost in the big picture.

Harl said he would like to take $1 million out of the city’s reserves and put it in a discretionary fund to be spent over a 10-year period. Each ward would be allocated a quarter of that money, or be budgeted $25,000 per year to take on sidewalk and alley projects that residents may call about.

Harl said most of the requests being made to the public works department right now are for sidewalk and alley repairs. He said the fund would leave the decision-making to the aldermen in their respective wards before it is brought to the full council.

Some aldermen said they would like to get a better sense of Peru’s long-term planning so they do not overlap projects or replace sidewalk that the city was going to end up replacing anyway.

City engineer Eric Carls said this long-term planning has led to some areas of town not having work done since they are scheduled for major overhauls. He said Peru’s east end near Sixth and Seventh streets will be a hotbed of sewer activities over the next decade and will see major infrastructure repairs during that time. But because that is in the plans for the future, the city has been reluctant to spend money in that area on short-term fixes.

Harl said the new fund may be in place by May 2020. The consensus among the council was to move forward with it.

This & That: Substation, pool problem, salute to scouts

  • Peru is looking to see what to do about the Water Street substation. Mayor Scott Harl said the transformer has built up gases and may need to be addressed in the near future. He added it would be beneficial to the city to have a planned replacement of the substation, opposed to needing to make emergency repairs if it were to break down.
  • Peru sent out requests for proposals for a feasibility study on installing a new pool and heard back from two companies. Westport Pools of Maryland Heights, Mo., and Counsilman Hunsaker of St. Louis each submitted proposals. Peru will be in contact with them.
  • The city will provide police and fire vehicles to the St. Bede homecoming parade at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19.
  • Mayor Scott Harl recognized Eagle Scouts Christian Risk, Colton Sittler, Carson Vaske and Joseph Vlastnik with the “City of Peru Good Neighbor Recognition” for their various community projects to achieve the Eagle Scout rank. Projects included remodeling the concessions at Washington Park, painting the local food pantry, installing a story walk around Splash Field and landscaping work at Splash Field.

Brett Herrmann is at (815) 220-6933 or bherrmann@shawmedia.com.

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