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Archive for December 17th, 2014

Failed resort in La Salle may be redeveloped for other uses

Posted by wlpo on December 17, 2014

Frontier Lodge, a resort and water park that broke ground in La Salle is only a memory in your mind and in the books. The development agreements and preliminary plat that were approved by the city council in 2006 were rescinded by the city council Tuesday night.

A new developer, Mark Voss, wants to buy a couple of buildings and a foundation that were constructed. It is only a portion of the resort property north of Interstate 80.

Mayor Jeff Grove believes Voss wants to use the buildings for livable space and not for sand mining. Voss is related to Dan Voss, a man that was involved with a sand mine not far west of the old resort site.

Grove hopes by rescinding the old plat, some of the work will be done for mew interested buyers.

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Crash snarls traffic on Route 23 north of Streator

Posted by wlpo on December 17, 2014

Two people were hurt after crashing on Route 23 between Grand Ridge and Streator.

La Salle County deputies say Margaret Morrison of Streator was northbound on Route 23 Tuesday afternoon when Benjamin Gagliardo of Streator pulled in front of her at an intersection. Gagliardo says he didn’t see Morrison.

Both were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator with minor injuries. Nobody was given a ticket.

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Sword attack defendant in Streator pleads guilty to attempted murder

Posted by wlpo on December 17, 2014

A trial that was supposed to start this week involving a sword attack in Streator isn’t happening after a plea deal was reached.

Thirty-year-old William Milian of Streator has decided to plead guilty to attempted first-degree murder. In exchange for his plea, other felony charges like aggravated domestic battery and domestic battery were dropped.

Milian was supposed to stand trial this week after he was arrested in late July for stabbing a woman with a sword. He’s in the La Salle County Jail on $200,000 bond.

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Mansion repairs in Ottawa has caretakers battling the city council

Posted by wlpo on December 17, 2014

A symbol of the city’s history is creating a rift in Ottawa.

During the public comment part of Tuesday night’s meeting, Lorraine McAllister with the Reddick Mansion Board of Directors laid into council members, saying they’re “indifferent” by not taking pride in a “magnificent, historic building”. McAllister and her board asked the council earlier this year to go in together on paying for $535,000 worth of exterior improvements but she says no action has been done. The mansion association leases the Reddick building from the city for a dollar a year and the city is supposed to be responsible for exterior maintenance.

After Tuesday night’s meeting, Mayor Bob Eschbach says he sent the mansion association a letter last week saying the sides need to sit down and draw up a new lease since the current one doesn’t “reflect realities”. He also disputed a claim by McAllister that the city’s unwillingness at this time to pay for exterior renovations cost the mansion association a chance at a grant.

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Downtown La Salle removation project to receive TIF money

Posted by wlpo on December 17, 2014

A fence blocks off the sidewalk on the west side of a two-story building on First Street in La Salle. Workers have been demolishing the interior of the former Blakely’s Department Store. The building owners are taking advantage of a downtown TIF district to recoup some of the expense.

An agreement between the La Salle City Council and Carus Family Real Estate, LLC was approved Tuesday night. Paul and Tammi Carus stand to receive up to $740,000 for eligible costs such as remodeling and architect fees. The money will come from the downtown TIF fund which collects money from a portion downtown property taxes. Several other building owners receive TIF money after making substantial building improvements.

Mayor Jeff Grove says the building will be used for retail and office space. A clothing store across the street plans to relocate into the remodeled first floor.

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