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The Lockport Legend 041218

4 | April 12, 2018 | The

4 | April 12, 2018 | The Lockport Legend NEWS EXPERT AGENT IN LOCKPORT Claudia Gamache, CPCU 815-834-2700 16614 W. 159th St., #302 Lockport, IL 60441 © 2016 Allstate Insurance Co. 221274 Lockport Moose #1557 PRESENTS Denny Diamond Tribute to Neil Diamond Saturday, April 28th Doors Open 6:00pm Dinner 7:00pm | Show 8:30pm Tickets $20.00 each Tickets on Sale Now in Social Quarters Or at: Banquet Room & Picnic Grove available for rent. Prime Dates Available. Call Bruce at 815-838-3944 visit us online at Taft Foundation prepares for annual craft fair Amanda Del Buono Freelance Reporter The crafting craze continues to remain on trend, and Lockport families will have the opportunity to partake in the appreciation for handmade, locally produced goods at the Taft Foundation’s upcoming ninth annual craft fair. Families and local community members are invited to Taft School on Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the craft fair. Admission to the event will be $1 for those 12 years and older, and children younger than 12 years old will be admitted free of charge. Strollers are welcome. The funds collected from the admission charge are to benefit students in Taft School’s Beta Club, said Christine Jelinek, director of the Taft Foundation. “We have a club called Beta Club, which is kind of like a junior’s honor society, and they’re trying to do a community service project and they need some feed money to do that, so that’s what the $1 admission fee will be for,” she said. Craft fair attendees will be able to spend the day browsing more than 50 vendor booths, which will be offering a variety of products, from quality, handmade goods to home-based business products, like Tupperware and LuLaRoe. Vendors are to include a mix of Lockport locals and those who will be traveling from nearby communities. “The craft fair tends to be a community favorite,” Jelinek said. “People like the craft fair because we tend to *SELECT FLOORING STYLES APRIL 12 - MAY 24 LIKE US ON 12 months equal payments | No interest for qualified buyers focus more on crafters than just vendors… We have a mix of both, but we try to get people that have those unique crafts to come in and purchase a booth for our craft fair.” Jelinek said that event organizer Becky Szymkowiak reaches out to crafters through a variety of methods in an effort to bring in vendors and crafters offering a variety of products with little overlap. “When Becky is receiving the registration forms from vendors, we don’t duplicate, so that not only do the vendors have a fair share in what they’re trying to sell, they don’t have to compete,” Jelinek said. “It also gives the shoppers the best variety when it comes to shopping.” The Taft Foundation is a nonprofit organization that 540 W. North St. | Manhattan, IL 60442 (Formerly Doc’s Drugs) 910 S. State St. | Lockport, IL 60441 M: 10 - 5 | T, W, Th: 10 - 6 | Fri: 10 - 5 | Sat: 9 - 2 was formed about a decade ago and raises funds throughout the school year to support Taft School and provide opportunity for its students. “We are a small oneschool school district that struggles financially, so about a decade ago, I started this foundation,” Jelinek said. “… At the time, I was a newer parent in the district and I thought it could help the school. We started out slowly with trying to raise money to support some after school programs, and over the last 10 years we’ve really developed into a mainstay for the district. In fact, for the last two years, we have supported the school during hard times that all of our sports programs, all of our music programs and all extracurricular [activities] were left unfunded… So, we worked really hard to fund all of those programs for the last two years.” The foundation has played a role in several other initiatives as well, such as implementing Chromebooks and providing teacher mini-grants. Funds raised at events, such as the craft fair, help to support these initiatives and Taft School students. “All of the proceeds go back to the district,” Jelinek said. “We don’t have very much administrative overhead, except for typical things like insurance… It all helps the district.” Currently, it has turned its focus onto developing a STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — program at Taft School, Jelinek said. As a result, the funds that are raised from the craft fair, aside from admission, will go toward establishing a STEM program, she said. Taft School is located at 1605 W. Washington Street in Lockport. NEWS the Lockport Legend | April 12, 2018 | 5 City Council Officials approve plans for downtown streetscaping project Decorative benches to be purchased from Lockport’s sister city in Italy Jessie Molloy Freelance Reporter The Lockport City Council approved measures at its April 4 meeting to move forward with the long-term downtown streetscaping project. The council voted to approve two items related to the streetscaping project; a contract for the street work itself and the purchase of the new decorative benches for State Street, though there was some disagreement on the bench item. The motion, presented by City Administrator Ben Benson, was for the City to approve the purchase of benches for a total of $29,050. The price includes significant shipping costs because the benches are being purchased from a furniture company in Asiago, Italy, a sister city to Lockport. Alderwoman Catherine Perretta objected to the purchase, arguing that locally manufactured benches made of recycled plastic would be less expensive, more environmentally friendly, and more artistic. Ben and Mayor Steven Streit countered the argument, saying that, while fine for schools and parks, the recycled-bottle-cap benches would not have the appropriate look for the State Street project, and would possibly not last as long. While much of the council expressed interest in utilizing the idea for a temporary display or later project, the argument that the Italian benches, which Streit and Benson said are finely crafted and include commemorative decoration of the two cities’ sisterhood, won out, as they are what the committee had decided on months ago. Benson reported that the benches cost about $1,300 each, including the importing costs. While he acknowledged that the cost is higher than what would normally be paid for street benches, he noted, “when you’re importing something like this from Europe, it’s hard to solicit multiple competitive bids for them.” The council voted to approve the purchase, with alderwomen Perretta and Christina Bergbower voting against it. Alderman Jim Petrakos was absent. The benches will be stored by the Public Works Department until the road construction is complete and they can be put on display. The first half of the street’s work is estimated to be completed by late summer. The existing benches on State Street, which had been donated to the City at various times and include name plaques will be repurposed around City Hall. The other streetscaping issue, which was approved Wednesday, was the contract for the street work and beautification on State Street between 8th and 10th streets and for the roadwork on 9th Street from the railroad tracks to Hamilton Street. The winning bid went to D. Construction, for $938,493.02, half a million dollars less than was originally budgeted for the work by the City. Alderman J.R. Gillogy abstained from the vote because of a possible conflict of interest. The project is to include road improvements, new water mains, and curb work on the two stretches of road and beautification measures including planters and trees along State Street. In addition to beautifying and improving the street, the council hopes that, along with new truck route plans being created by the County, the new design will discourage trucks from driving down State Street and that the added decor will create a better sound barrier between pedestrians and the street’s traffic. Since the project came in so far under budget, Benson proposed the City explore possible beautification designs for the impacted portion of 9th Street from the railroad tracks to Hamilton and see if all or part of it could also be beautified with the remain $500,000. “As long as everything is going to be torn up already, there is no time that it will be less expensive to do this,” Benson said. Council members expressed some hesitation on the plan, but eventually gave consent to explore the option, with no commitment that further action would be taken. “I’m willing to look into it and see what they say, but basically everything is cheaper now than it will be in the future, so I’m not completely convinced by that argument,” said Alderman Jason Vandermeer. “I’m not saying there’s no way I would vote for it, but I feel like we may be losing discipline on this project.” Please see Council, 9 MOVING SALE! EVERYTHING MUST GO! STOP BY FOR INCREDIBLE SAVINGS! Unbelievable deals going on now! 17500 S Harlem, Tinley Park 708-532-6666 Open 7 days a week Monday-Friday 10am-6pm Saturday 10am-5pm Sunday 11am-5pm