When will sidewalks be built near Iles School?

North 12th Street in front of Iles Elementary School does not have sidewalks. The city is seeking a grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to add sidewalks around the school. | H-W Photo/Matt Hopf
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 6, 2019 12:01 am Updated: Jul. 6, 2019 12:58 am

I have a question about the lack of sidewalks on 12th Street near Iles School. The question came up when the school was preparing to open a year ago, and the answer then was that it was being discussed. Could you find out what the projected timeline is from the discussion a year ago? Conditions are extremely dangerous for employees, students and parents -- some less than a block away -- who need a reasonable place to walk. Since the roadside on 12th street has a steep slope, I have seen kids walk in the street when the weather is bad.

Right now, there is no specific timeline on constructing more sidewalks on North 12th around Iles Elementary School, but funds are being sought.

Jeffrey Conte, director of utilities and engineering, said the city applied for a grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity that would fund construction of sidewalks on North 12th by Iles.

"We don't expect to hear whether it was funded until this fall at the earliest," Conte said.

The city has previously completed improvements near schools through the Safe Routes to School program, such as safety improvements on Columbus Road near St. Dominic School and the reconstruction of Maine between 30th and 36th streets by Baldwin and Quincy High schools in 2012.

A round of grant funding opened up in the fall of 2018, but the city didn't meet the requirements to submit an application for that round. The next funding cycle for Safe Routes to School is expected in the fall of 2020

We touched on this question a couple of years ago, but with Quincy's Fourth of July fireworks at the Illinois Veterans Home this year, a couple of people have asked if anything happens with the animals in the Deer Park. So we'll recap.

Back in 2017, Rick Gengenbacher, marketing director at the Illinois Veterans Home, said there have never been reports of problems with the deer or buffalo during the fireworks display.

"We moved the buffalo the very first year we had fireworks in 2011 as we celebrated out 125th anniversary, because we weren't sure about the buffalo reaction," Gengenbacher said at the time. "Since that time, they have not been moved, and we are not aware of any issues."

No buffalo were in the pen this Fourth of July.

The park dates to 1858 when it was built by Edward A. Dudley, who sold the grounds for the home.

Opened as the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in 1886, the Illinois Veterans Home maintained the park, which operates under an intergovernmental agreement by the Veterans Home and the Quincy Park District. A second enclosure was added in 1973, and a new pasture mix was planted for the deer in 2017.

The animals in the park are owned by a private party. They are fed by the Veterans Home staff.

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