By Sabrina Westfall
The City of Lawrenceville is working towards a comprehensive plan to help the city move forward.
The city was awarded a $100,000 grant through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Lawrenceville Mayor Don Wagner said the city worked with Indianapolis firm Ratio to compile a plan for the next couple decades.
Wagner explained at the last city council meeting a seven person committee was put together to oversee the Comprehensive Plan and Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan.
“This is a vision for our future, and what we hope to achieve in the next 20 to 30 years,” Wagner explained.
According to the city’s website, the community is encouraged to provide feedback at the March 25 Open House.
The informal event will be at 7 p.m. at the Lawrenceville City Hall, Civic Center.
There will be stations set up focused on key elements of the drafted plan, and the community is encouraged to discuss the topics presented, which will include downtown, transportation, infrastructure, pre-disaster mitigation, redevelopment, economic development, and parks and recreation.
Wagner stressed this plan is very important for the future of the city and keeping development on track.
The mayor added the city has a lot of volunteers dedicated to ensuring the city continues progressing.
The Downtown Revitalization Committee has already raised $100,000 on their own to fix sidewalks and traffic lights around the square. The group is currently working on applying for a $250,000 grant to finish the project.
“We have probably 50 to 60 people that volunteer for the community. They only get a turkey at Thanksgiving and a ham at Christmas. That’s pretty incredible,” Wagner said about the dedication of residents. “We are lucky to have what we have here, and we want to keep it.”
Wagner added the city will continue to seek out grants, one of which he is working on is new sidewalks to the high school. He would also like to see a new road in the area.
He stressed despite all the upgrades the city is working on, they are dedicated to working within the city’s budget and not overspending.
Since starting his time as mayor, Wagner said he was pleased to be able to pay off a $600,000 debt left behind by the last administration.
He added city workers have worked very hard to stay within their means. The city council has also been very helpful in getting the city where he envisions it.
“They aren’t a bunch of ‘yes’ people. We just all want the same thing — a better town,” Wagner said.