Kewanee, IL

After 60 years, City Council finally vacates alley

Mike Berry

The Kewanee City Council vacated a portion of an alley on the city’s north side Monday, and they had a good reason to do it.

It happens that there’s a building right where the alley was supposed to be.

There has been a building there for more than half a century, but due to an apparent oversight by city officials, the alley was never officially vacated.

The alley in question runs (or used to run) from Main Street west to Tremont Street, between Eighth and Ninth streets.

A service station and vehicle repair business has been there for years, but the alley was never officially closed.

Keith Edwards, the city’s community development officer, discovered this oversight when he was processing a request from the station owners, Hodge’s Towing and Repairs, for a permit for a solar array on the property.

City Attorney Justin Raver said the process of vacating the alley was never followed. “I found out that it didn’t happen, so now we’re doing it,” Raver said.

Building on alleys that weren’t formally abandoned isn’t uncommon in Kewanee, he said. “We have a lot of these,” he added.

Raver said the alley in question apparently was informally vacated back in the 1960s, and added, “If you want to update the records, get a time machine.”

Mayor Gary Moore said he hopes mistakes like this won’t happen in the future.

“I would like to think we’re a little more attentive to detail now than they were then,” Moore said.
The City Council Monday approved the demolition of this condemned house at 916 N. Vine St.Photo byMike Berry

Also Monday:

— The council approved a bid from Boers Excavating to demolish a condemned house at 916 N. Vine St. for $8,990.

— City Manager Gary Bradley told the council that the city’s property tax levy should be a little lower in the coming year.

Bradley said the tax rate should decline by about 29 cents per $100 assessed valuation.

The decline is due to removal of a $300,000 bond payment from general fund expenditures, and to a slight overall increase in the assessed valuation of real estate in the city.

The decline in the levy could change, Bradley said, depending on how much the city will have to contribute this year to employee retirement funds.

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I am retired after 45 years in the newspaper business. I am a 1972 graduate of the College of Communications at the University of Illinois.

Kewanee, IL

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