Houston St. Streetscape Stirs Controversy

A Daily Herald article (1/20/15) begins, “What was supposed to be a discussion of a design for a path along Batavia’s Houston Street near Depot Pond on Tuesday turned into a quarrel over whether a design firm was trying to push something on the city.”

The quote in the 1/20/15 Kane County Chronicle article sums it up: “It’s not what the council asked to be done,” 4th Ward Alderman Susan Stark said. “We didn’t ask for new concept drawings. We didn’t ask for a total redesign.”

What started as a decision by the Batavia City Council to allow the architectural/design firm Altamanu (the one that designed River St.) to tweak the approved plan for Houston St., suddenly morphed into a brand new concept with psychedelic blue swirls in the pavement and no price tag (they have to pass it to know how much it would cost).

City Administrator Bill McGrath is at the center of it all. He assured the Council on several occasions that there would not be a new design.  And then he broke his promise.

The article at BataviaTaxes goes into the background of the matter in greater detail.

The result of Tuesday night’s Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting is that no decision has yet been made, and discussion has been pushed off till the next COW meeting.

Please take the time to Contact your Aldermen, by clicking the button to the right, and render your opinion. Aldermen Marty Callahan and Carl Fischer were able to cite their constituents’ disapproval of the new concept in their opposition. How about your aldermen? Has anyone contacted them? Let them hear from you.

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