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Utica OKs more festive Christmas

Utica Mayor David Stewart looks small compared to the giant chair he sits in, which was recently donated to the village. Stewart explained the chair was given to Utica by Crestwood carpenter James Memmesheim who make such chairs to give to municipalities without charge. Stewart said village workers will soon stain the chair, put a Utica logo on it and place it near the village's downtown gazebo.
Utica Mayor David Stewart looks small compared to the giant chair he sits in, which was recently donated to the village. Stewart explained the chair was given to Utica by Crestwood carpenter James Memmesheim who make such chairs to give to municipalities without charge. Stewart said village workers will soon stain the chair, put a Utica logo on it and place it near the village's downtown gazebo.

Christmas will be grander and brighter in Utica this season following unanimous vote by village trustees Thursday to buy additional decorations and lights for the upcoming holiday season. 

The board approved expenditures up to $5,000 for the Christmas-themed additions. 

Trustees also approved $500 donation to the Utica Fire Department's annual car show scheduled Oct. 6 and are considering a full-page ad in the Heritafge Corridor Travel Magazine for a cost up to $3,800, which may be shared with the Utica Business Association. 

The vote to amend the vacant and abandoned property changes and fee hikes in January 2019 was tabled until a future meeting. 

Mayor David Stewart told the board the Illinois Department of Transportation has approved the village's request to close portions of Route 178 on Sunday, Nov. 4, for the annual Veterans Day Parade. 

The board was informed of a bid submitted by R & R Landscaping for $8,658 to make repairs to the ballfield at Neighbor's Park. Stewart and the trustees agreed to seek out additional bids before making a financial decision on the project. 

Before adjournment, Utica resident Linda Moyer-Halm informed the board that a federal grant managed by the state is available for installing sidewalks from Utica north up to the new Waltham School now under construction off Route 178, south of U.S. 6. Village Engineer Kevin Heitz said he was familiar with the grant program "Safe Routes to School" and thought an application might be considered a possibility to build sidewalks after the school is open.

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