Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Public Meeting on Redevelopment of Collins Street Prison

The City of Joliet is seeking input from real estate experts, citizens, and the Urban Land Institute-Chicago District in order to discuss strategies to address redevelopment options for the Joliet Correctional Center, also known as the Collins Street Prison.  The City of Joliet has engaged the Urban Land Institute Chicago District Council (ULI Chicago) to organize a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) on January 24th and 25th, 2012.  This panel will bring together a diverse set of real estate experts to focus on strategies to address redevelopment options for the Collins Street Prison.

Joliet Collins Street Prison.  Photo by ULI Chicago.
ULI Chicago is a non-profit research and educational institution that facilitates the open exchange of ideas, information and experience among leaders of the land use industry. ULI selected the members of this TAP for their expertise relevant to the challenges and opportunities of the prison site. All panel members donate their time and expertise to the TAP progam.  The Panel, Chaired by David Galowich of Madison Realty Group, Inc., will consider recreational, commercial, industrial and tourism redevelopment, and explore long-term land use compatible with adjacent sites and consistent with the surrounding community

In order to introduce the TAP panelists and capture the community's input about the study area, there will be an informal Community Reception following the panel's first day of work on the evening of January 24th from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Joliet Area Historical Museum, 204 N. Ottawa Street, Joliet. The reception will include brief remarks to identify the panelists and panel assignments, and reserve the majority of time as an opportunity for conversation between local community stakeholders and the panel.  Friends and family are welcome at the reception.  Please RSVP your attendance to ULI Chicago at Christine.Kolb@uli.org or 773-549-2655. 

ULI Chicago also authored a 2004 Redevelopment Strategy Report for Downtown Joliet.

In September of 2011, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning held two community meetings where citizens discussed ideas for the redevelopment of the prison site:


Monday, January 16, 2012

Manhattan Library District Seeks Approval of Referendum for New Library Building on March 20, 2012 Ballot


MANHATTAN—Voters in the Manhattan-Elwood Public Library District will vote on a proposal to raise $3.5 million for purchase of a new library building.

According to the library’s web page, the referendum question seeks $3.5 million in bonds to be issued for purchasing 13,000 square feet of the building in the Manhattan Station at the corner of Gougar and Sweedler Roads.  The amount includes remodeling and purchse of furniture, shelving and electronic materials.
The breakdown includes $2.2 million for purchase of the building, $1 million to remodel, and $250,000 for furnishing the library.

The referendum question is on the March 20, 2012 ballot.


As a resident and user of the Manhattan-Elwood Public Library, I was sent this email from the library about the referendum:

-Vote March 20, 2012-

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Congressman Adam Kinzinger Announces Service Academy Nominations


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) is proud to nominate eight Illinoisans from the 11th Congressional District to the United States Service Academies.

“One of the greatest honors I have as your Representative is to nominate focused, driven students throughout the 11th Congressional District to a United States Service Academy,” said Congressman Kinzinger“The nominating process is extremely competitive.  The hard work and dedication of these young men and women is what makes our nation's military unmatched to any other. The nominees represent the heart, soul and future of our nation.  I'm humbled by their commitment and courageous ambitions."

The 11th District's eight nominees were chosen based on the information included in their applications, test scores, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation and the requirements of each U.S. Service Academy.  Each Service Academy will determine who will receive an appointment of admission. 

"As a current member of the Armed Forces, I take the responsibility of my selections incredibly seriously," Kinzinger continued.  "It is a privilege to recommend exceptional nominees for a potential appointment to these great institutions."

Of the eight students nominated from the 11th District, Kevin Thielmann, a senior at Lincoln-Way North High School and Mokena resident, has already received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point.  The majority of the nominees will hear from the academies in Spring 2012.

"From his accomplishments in the classroom to his leadership in athletics, Kevin has served as an outstanding member in our community and will make a tremendous addition to West Point," said Kinzinger"It's an honor to know this young man and see his dedication to his country first-hand. I look forward to seeing what this next chapter holds for Kevin as he joins young leaders from across the country in making a profound commitment to serve."

Congressman Kinzinger is currently accepting applications for the U.S. Service Academies’ class entering in 2013. Go here for frequently asked questions on how to apply or contact Congressman Kinzinger's Joliet Office at (815) 729-2308.



From left to right: Jenna Laureen Tasic (Tinley Park), Joseph Aaron Weis (Plainfield), Joseph John Hines, Jr. (Cedar Point), U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Garrett Marshall Saulters (Wilmington), Kevin Daniel Thielmann  (Mokena), Austin Paul Mackert-Miller (Plainfield), Jacob Ryan Hilliard (Monee)
Not Pictured: Maria Rossi (Shorewood)  Photo courtesy of Rep. Kinzinger's office

11th District Service Academy Nominees

U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York
§  Joseph John Hines, Jr. (Cedar Point, IL)
§  Austin Paul Mackert-Miller (Plainfield, IL)
§  Maria Rossi (Shorewood, IL)
§  Jenna Laureen Tasic (Tinley Park, IL)
§  Kevin Daniel Thielmann  (Mokena, IL)

U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland
§  Jacob Ryan Hilliard (Monee, IL)
§  Garrett Marshall Saulters (Wilmington)
§  Joseph Aaron Weis (Plainfield)


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Manhattan Fire Captain Retires After 37 Years


The Manhattan Fire Department invites everyone to an Open House to celebrate the retirement of Captain Jim Toepper and mark his 37 years of service on the volunteer force.
Manhattan Fire Captain Jim Toepper

The Open House to honor Toepper will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, January 29. All are invited.  The open house is at the Wilton Center Federated Church, 14101 W. Joliet Rd. Manhattan, IL, just east of Cedar Road on U.S. Route 52 in Wilton Center.

The Fire Department would love for you to come help celebrate Toepper’s 37 years!