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City of Ottawa accepts honors for Vietnam Moving Wall

Award recognizes work of community members

A reminder of the La Salle County Veterans Tribute Group’s efforts to bring the Vietnam Moving Wall to Ottawa will be going up at City Hall.

Group liaison Daryle Peters and other members attended Monday night’s City Council meeting where the traveling Governor's Cup, which they won for their efforts last year, was given to the City Council.

Mayor Bob Eschbach said the cup will be displayed in a prominent location at City Hall until it is given to the next recipient.

“Everything about that project was first-class. It was very moving and well done,” said Eschbach.

The Governor’s Hometown Awards program gave formal recognition to communities that contributed to their community’s quality of life via projects that had strong volunteer support, met a need and made a definitive impact.

Peters also presented a plaque to the city as well as a wooden display piece with both the American flag and The Moving Wall logo on it.

He also thanked Mayor-elect Dan Aussem for his support in bringing the wall to Ottawa.

“The outpouring of support for that was huge,” Peters said. “And I mean overwhelming and it continues to this day.”

The city also will have to decide where a large Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) road sign lauding the city for the accomplishment will go.

La Salle County Veterans Tribute Group Chairman Roger Reynolds suggested the base of Veterans Memorial Bridge. Eschbach said they’ll discuss the sign’s location with IDOT.

The group also gifted Eschbach a certificate thanking him for his support over his many years in office.

“It’s been an honor for these 20 years to be able to appear with veterans and attend so many of the veterans events,” Eschbach said. “I will treasure this.”

Council approved an operating budget

The City Council later held a public hearing and approval of an operating budget for the next fiscal year.

City Treasurer Don Harris said the city’s main operating budget was just over $17 million in expenditures, making a $150,000 deficit. He noted the city has the reserves to cover the deficit.

“I would say it’s pretty routine to the past. Nothing dramatically different,” Harris said.

He added that a significant portion of the city’s spending has to go toward wages and benefits, leaving the city little spending flexibility.

In other business, the council approved:

• Requesting permission from IDOT to temporarily close La Salle Street from Lafayette Street to Main Street from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 14, for the 2019 Cruise Night.

• The Ottawa Memorial Association’s request to hold its Memorial Day parade and ceremony from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Washington Park and nearby city streets.

The council learned:

• The city of Ottawa received its Tree City USA recognition for the 20th year in a row from the National Arbor Day Foundation. An Arbor Day celebration is planned for 10 a.m. Friday, April 26, at Jefferson Elementary School.

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