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Amazing Progress on FIG’s 2017 Goals

On Tuesday, August 22nd, the Fairbury Improvement Group (FIG) met at Marsh Park.  The meeting included a tour so the group could witness the amazing progress first hand.  Dale Maley chaired the meeting and explained the improvements, how they were developed, and the volunteers involved.

Notes taken from the minutes from the meeting are below:

  1. Mock-up Jail photo op will be removed and placed in old jail for winter storage on Sep 3, 2017
  2. Indian Creek Market & History Talkers are scheduled for Saturday, September 2nd.  History Talkers will be at key street corners giving building histories from10 AM until Noon.
  3. The Sherman Hotel building sign is on the schedule for Summer of 2018.
  • Updates on Fairbury Food Festival
  • name has been revised to “A LOCAL TASTE: FLAVORS FROM THE FARM” was held Aug 12th from 11 AM to 6 PM in Sunken Park
  • Brad Steidinger provided an update. Feedback to Brad from FIG group was all complimentary
    planning on doing it again next year
  • If you have suggestions to improve the event, contact Brad Steidinger or Rebekah Fehr
  1. Marsh Park upgrade project
  • Popejoys made restrooms functional 8/21/17 – still waiting on ADA drinking fountain to arrive
  • Gazebo complete
  • Screening in North Pavilion in-process
  • Five more lights to be installed
  • Shelves built and being finish painted
  • Custom doors late with Sept 8 delivery
  • South and West Pavilions repainted
  • North pavilion painted, except by doors
  • Playground equipment painted, and basketball poles
  • Eight sidewalk lights for $17,000, ordered Aug 15, with 8-10 week delivery. These may not arrive in time to be installed this summer.
  • Storm damage to west shelter has been repaired
  • Odd Fellows applying for a grant for new equipment. They do not meet again until October.  If $39,000 request is approved, we would see equipment in 2018
  • Video cameras – David Slagel met with video camera supplier on July 18th & is waiting on quote from supplier.
  1. Project Schedule (major projects)
  • complete restroom upgrade
  • toilet paper dispensers, ADA grab bars, ADA drinking fountain
  • Gazebo is completed except 4 park benches. New benches are due in next week.
  • 1100 feet of new sidewalk in-process
  • screening in North pavilion is in process
  • move playground equipment

Dale Maley did an interesting WJEZ radio segment on Marsh Park project recently, too.

  1. Discussion about 2017 Project List
  • Mary Catherine Carter gave an update on expanding the annual city Christmas program,
    also a potential 4th of July new event for 2018.  She also volunteered to plan the Marsh Park reopening celebration, likely to be June of 2018
  • around October, should start working on 2018 project list
  1. New projects?
  • 2018 is 200th anniversary of Illinois becoming a state. This should factor this into our 2018 project planning.
  • Add 2018 project to plant more trees in Marsh Park. Rotary Club is involved with this project.
  • Need someone to lead a project to hold a “Junk in the Trunk” events in Fairbury in 2018 to join in the Route 24 corridor event starting in Watseka, Gilman, Chatsworth, and Eureka.  Contact Dale Maley or The Business Connection if you are interested in leading this project
  • Doug Aaron asked for community events (e.g. garage sales, etc) to take place the weekend
    of Oct 6th and 7th due to special 2-day sprint car races at Fairbury.
  1.  Tour of Marsh Park – toured the park after the meeting.
  2.  Next meeting Tues night Sep 26, 2017 – may meet at Marsh Park again.

“Wow!  It is amazing what has been accomplished in a short amount of time,” said Bobbi McKeon owner of Heart’s Desire and coordinator of the Specialty Shops group.

“It is exciting, too, to see that the FIG group is looking to adding even more new projects and events in 2018.  Volunteers are needed.  Mark your calendar for Tuesday, Sept. 26th and plan to attend the next FIG meeting! We appreciate all the work and dedication from the volunteers, businesses, and organizations that are completing the tasks.  Thank you very much, volunteers!  Thanks, too, to Prairie Lands Foundation and the City of Fairbury for the funding and resources to make the amazing upgrade to Marsh Park,” concludes Bobbi.

As always, call Bobbi McKeon at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com with any stories, ideas or suggestions for interesting topics to write for our community.