From fishing tournaments to possible fish plant, Barto Landing is perpetually featured in Mayor Cliff Banks' plans to improve Spring Valley. At Monday night's council meeting, he offered two new plans.

- An argument broke out at the council table over advertising at Barto Landing. Banks asked the council to consider paying $600 per year for a sign at the landing that would advertise Spring Valley Motel and other businesses in the city. He said a sign as boaters leave would go a long way to promoting those businesses.

Banks' suggestion met with some opposition among the council. There was no motion to spend the $600.

"You don't see nothing. I see you sit there, mumbling," Banks said to Marini. He asked Marini what the city should do to promote the motel.

Marini said he didn't think the city should be picking up the bill for business advertising.

"Let the motel pay for it," he said.

Alderman Chuck Hansen agreed: "You're picking and choosing," he said.

"I'm for helping every business out. We need revenue in this town, badly" Banks said. "If you've got a better idea, I'd like to hear it."

- Banks said he has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a possible project to improve the Barto Landing area.

The project would involve the Corps dredging the area near where boats enter the river from the landing and building a berm to help keep sediment from filling it in again. The dredged material would be used to fill in a wetland just to the west, between Cargill on the south and the city's wastewater lagoon on the north. That area would then become an expanded parking lot.

The work would eliminate the need for Spring Valley Walleye Club to spend $4,000 to $5,000 each year dredging that area. Banks said the project could be completed at no cost to the city. He said he is working with Marc Miller, the head of Illinois Department of Natural Resources, to bring the project to fruition.

In other news,

- The repaving project on the road around Kirby Park has been postponed. City engineer Jack Kusek said the contractor is worried about not having enough days with good weather to complete the project this fall. He said the project may be able to come in at a lower budget in the spring, as well. That project would grind and recycle the road's current surface to lay a thick layer of pavement over the road.

The council voted to donate $200 to Hall Township Food Pantry's holiday Adopt-a-Basket program.

More council news in Tuesday's NewsTribune

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