5/31/2019 1:53:00 PM Water feature, mural at South Cross mini-park
Contractors broke ground this week on the mural wall that will be placed in the new downtown park on South Cross St., in Robinson. The wall is expected to be eight feet tall and run nearly the width of the park. City officials have been working with an artist on the design of the mural, but no final decisions have been made. (Tom Compton photo)
Construction workers have been busy this week beginning the installation of the new South Cross mini park, which is situated in the vacant lot south of the Robinson Post Office.
The new park will feature a mural which will be situation on the east end of the property in front of the Crawford County Jail, and a water feature will be placed into the center of the grounds.
A camera and recording system, which is now active, can be viewed on YouTube so local residents can view the construction and mural progress, as well as monitor the area for vandals.
"It gives us security in that area," Parks Superintendent Mike Shimer said.
The camera will be installed at the west/northwest corner of the building on the site's south side at the Weber building. The family agreed to donate the space for free.
The camera and video recording system were approved by the council by last month at a cost of $2,977.97. It is expected to be installed by Robinson Computers.
Shimer made the motion to add the water feature during a meeting last February, which the council approved.
"The water feature will cost $21,400, which was less than anticipated, and includes a fountain, plumbing and motor," Shimer said.
The purchase will be made from Fountains By Design, Durango, Colo. The payment will be made from tax increment funding.
Local artist Robert Treese will be creating the design for the mural. Although Shimer did not know what creation Treese had in mind for the mural, he seemed confident in his talents, which have been showcased in another town.
"He painted this mural in Vincennes, which was amazing," Shimer said.
Treece's mural will be painted on the wall, which will be measure 30 feet in length, 12 feet wide and eight feet high.
Just like the water feature and the rest of the park's structures, funding is expected to come from the city's tax-increment financing district income.
Consolidated Concrete will provide for the mural wall after the city council approved their bid a few months ago. The lowest bid was for $32,000 from a company in Teutopolis, but the council decided to pay an extra $1,000 to Consolidated due to their trust in the company's Kip Randolph, who has installed several items for the city's parks.
For the mural wall, Shimer said the lowest bid was $32,00 from JB Esker and Sons, Teutopolis. The city also received a bid of $33,000 from Kip Randolph of Consolidated Concrete, who has provided numerous services for the parks department for several years.
"Kip's done a lot of things at the park numerous times for nothing," Alderman Rick Lowe said.
The entrance to the park will be on the west side next to the South Cross parking area. Shimer said the entrance will be designed like a trolley station, and provide sheltering from heat and rainy weather.
At this point here is no timetable for when the park will be ready to receive visitors.
The area for the park was created when the north end of the brick building collapsed. It had contained law offices and vacant storefronts.
The U of I Extension office recently moved into the remaiing part of the building.