Route 180 Road Work
The Illinois Department of Transportation is planning a project to widen Illinois Route 180 from north of the Illinois Route 167 intersection to US Route 150. The proposed project will widen the existing highway to include 11-foot driving lanes with 1-foot of paved shoulder each direction for a full 24-foot of paved roadway top, as well as 3-foot aggregate shoulders. Additionally, based upon input from representatives of Williamsfield, 5-foot paved shoulders will be constructed through Williamsfield from just south of Chestnut Street to Gale Street. Other miscellaneous improvements will be completed as part of the project including improvements to the IL 167 intersection, guardrail replacement, spot drainage improvements, and more. The preliminary engineering (Phase I) is expected to be complete early Summer of 2023, after which final design of construction documents (Phase II) will begin and is estimated to take 1 to 1 ½ years, at which point it will then be let for construction.
In the meantime, a project is underway to perform preservation work to the four bridges along IL Route 180 in advance of the roadway widening project.
VETERANS PARK SURVEY RESULTS October 2021
In the spring of 2020, the Village of Williamsfield Trustees established the Village of Williamsfield Veterans Park Committee, an advisory committee to the Village Trustees. The Committee met from August 2020 through June 2021. The Committee included Village Trustees, representatives from the Parks Association and the DAR, and three Veterans. The Committee developed and circulated a Survey to residents to obtain information and input on the past, current, and future uses of Veterans Park. A number of recommendations came out of the Survey, and at the final Committee meeting recommendations were made for the Trustees to act upon. Below is an excerpt from the notes taken from the final Committee meeting that was shared with and voted on by the Village Trustees.
The Village Trustees voted in September 2021 to post a summary of the Survey results to the Village website; and the Village Trustees voted in October 2021 to commence restoration and renovation activities in the Park, based upon a sketch of primary features developed by the Committee. The overall goal is to undertake a range of restoration and renovation activities and to be ready for a naming ceremony for the Park in 2023, which marks the centenary of the Park. The first action item will be to mark out the ground of the park using flags or soluble paints with the footprints of the main features (paths, etc.) for review before any permanent features are constructed. Furthermore, work is underway to relocate the siren, and to deconstruct the current bandstand, consistent with the recommendations of the Committee. Funding has been acquired for several aspects of the project that can get underway quickly, but additional funding will be sought via grants and other sources in order to complete the project.
Excerpt from Committee Recommendations to Village Trustees
The Village of Williamsfield Veterans Park Committee has determined that the Veterans Park, which holds a key location in downtown Williamsfield, can be used as a shared space that simultaneously commemorates and honors the Veterans of past conflicts, and recognizes the railroad history of the Village. The intent of the Committee is not to divide the park, but rather to showcase these aspects of the Village history. With this context in mind, the Committee makes the following recommendations:
The Village should have caution tape emplaced around the Bandstand.
The Village should request specific funds from the Norman Foundation toward the Veterans Park sign in advance of next year planning, to offset costs that the Village will incur this year on the sign.
The Village should relocate the warning siren in order to provide for greater space in the middle and rear areas of the Park (This reiterates a previous recommendation made to the Board).
The Village should disassemble the Bandstand because it is structurally unsafe. The Village should attempt to retain as much of the block as can be saved, to be incorporated into the renovated Park landscaping and design (This reiterates a previous recommendation made to the Board).
The Village should pursue holding farmers/craft markets at the Park in order to draw more interest to the downtown area (This reiterates a previous recommendation made to the Board).
The Village should pursue a shared-use design for the Veterans Park that simultaneously (a) honors Veterans using existing and additional future memorials together with a sign identifying the Park by its name, and (b) celebrates other elements of Williamsfield history, foremost among which is its railroad foundations and history. The front of the Park should be committed to honoring Williamsfield Veterans and the rear of the Park should be committed to the railroad and related themes. A through-walk should be constructed that, together with other walkways, provides for access to all features of the renovated Park.
The Village should add a “Veterans Park Renovation Project” item to the regular agenda for future Village Board meetings until the project is completed. The purpose of this will be to report on progress in the aforementioned elements of the Park renovations. Complete reporting on the progress will require individual or collective reporting by The Parks Association, The Legion, and The Maintenance Dept in order to track progress on implementing the Veterans Park Renovation Project.
The Village should work with the three aforementioned groups (Parks, Legion, and Maintenance) to determine when and how funding will be obtained for each part of the Veterans Park Renovation Project. Funding and support will likely be needed for and from all three groups for various aspects of the Project. Particular aspects of funding include maintenance, upkeep, and insurance.
To the extent practical, the Village should target completion of the Veterans Park Renovation Project for on/before April 2023 to celebrate the Park centenary (from meeting #2 “LS stated that she read that the Veterans Park was started (“secured”) in April 1923, which would make 2023 the centennial celebration – a possible target to complete any renovations and have a party to celebrate.”
A conceptual drawing for Veterans Park was prepared as a starting point for consideration by the Village Trustees; specific details of the final design may vary. However, representatives of the Legion, Parks Association, DAR, and the Village who constituted the Committee consider that the following are required elements of the final design:
A shared use design, wherein the front of the Park is committed to honoring Williamsfield Veterans and the rear of the Park is committed to the railroad and related themes.
Construction of suitable walkways providing access to all elements of the renovated Park.
Provision of sufficient space room along the northern area of the Park to allow for additional monuments to Veterans.
The addition and formal dedication of a sign identifying the Park according to its proper name as selected previously via open competition.
The Village Loves Pets, but...
Dogs Must be on Leashes
Village ordinance 2015-2 requires dogs to be kept on a leash when in the park, on a walk, or otherwise not at home. Fines between $50-500 may be imposed for not keeping your dog properly restrained.
The Scoop on Poop
Did you know that leaving dog feces to decay in such public places as the park and around playground equipment is not only gross but can make children, adults, and other pets sick? Be a good neighbor and clean up your pet's poop. The Village offers bags at the Doubet-Benjamin Park for your convenience.
Keep Grass off Streets
Illinois State law makes it illegal to place or blow grass clippings onto public roadways. Please do your part to keep motorists safe and avoid getting grass clippings on Village streets.