OLD TIMER – How to spend $100M


Rumor has it that the City is going to push for another bond here in the fall. It’s been a few years since the City decided to figure out new ways to spend 100s of millions of dollars, and well, they got bored and are setting us up for another vote.

Since I have absolutely zero knowledge of what will actually go into the bond, why we need it, the totals, nor even the projects that they want to tackle, I’ve decided to use my lack of information and just make a bunch of shit up.
But let’s just assume that the City wants $100m, which just sounds about right if history serves. That’s a boatload of cash, and seems like we could get a lot done. So what should we do with $150m in money to throw around?



STREETS – $10m
Our streets are pretty rough. Call me dumb, but it would seem that our City budget should already have line items to repair our City streets, but strangely that’s not true. Yes there is a budget for City street repairs, but apparently there’s not enough money and there are plenty of things that need to be fixed. I wish I had a great solution for what new streets to build that would help with traffic, but alas, there’s not exactly easy ways to expand River Rd.over, but we’re missing a great opportunity here. As Emperor, I’m going to buy the lot asap. Then I’m going to put the Kendall County Museum there. What a perfect location for visitors and newbs to shell out their $3 admission and learn some of the history of the area and appreciate the area even more. Most of you probably don’t even know who founded this town.

The skate park is surrounded by a bunch of acreage that has been talked about for years as to what the City should do with it. As Emperor, I decree that we should build a splash pad/water park area for the little ones as it would be heavily used by parents/kids. I also like the idea of expanding the skate park. It’s well used, gives the teenagers something to do, and could use a bit of an expansion, and it can’t cost too much to just pour a lot of concrete. We should also build a larger pool area as I know the old one over by the soccer fields is on its last leg. What a great location for residents to enjoy our summer days.

(figuring in the land/building)
I have said this for years: I want the City to buy the River Road / Main Street empty lot, which is just about the most high profile piece of dirt in the area. I’m sure it costs a zillion dollars. But the City should buy it to make sure we don’t get a damn Hooters there someday and should build a simply “Kendall County museum”. It would be a tremendous location for tourists that walk the area to duck in and get a great presentation on the history of our fair city, educates newcomers, and would be a great “gateway” building as you enter the Hill Country Mile. This is called “forward thinking”. The residents are going to be super pissed when the City doesn’t buy it, and a damn Applebee’s opens there someday.

This has been talked about forever, but we need one near Main Street. It’s a circus to find parking on the weekends, and something needs to be done. I propose that they utilize the lot just south of the Courthouse and build a 3 story parking garage. It would encourage more people to peruse our streets, shop locally, and do so without clogging all the side streets.

I have always thought that the Fairgrounds is a major missed opportunity. The stables are older than I am, and are in terrible need for repair. Additionally, the pavilion and fairgrounds could have so many additional uses than just the Kendall County Fair’s annual event. How come we couldn’t have monthly concerts in the pavilion? City could sponsor them, make a bunch on beer/ticket sales and really help cultivate a live music scene here. Other groups would utilize the grounds for church fairs, events, and other things as opposed to Town Square. The racetrack should probably be bulldozed because I don’t think anyone uses it anymore, and there’s a lot of uses that could be brainstormed.

TOTAL: $95m
That leaves us $5m to simply beautify. How come we can’t have landscaping done along Main Street. The River Road Park? The Skate park area? The library grounds? Along with the Southern portion of Main Street as you enter town?

It could be simple, but why can’t we have hanging plants along some of the light posts, large planters along the sidewalks, along River Road? I would think with a healthy budget, we could really beautify the area. Instead of exhaust fumes, honking motorists, and road construction, we could actually create some pleasant aesthetics that people would really enjoy.

And there you have it – not one City officially will listen to me, they’ll tell me I don’t understand the “true needs” of the City, and frankly have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. And they’ll ignore and do something stupid with the bond money.

Oh well – things never change.