Here it is the second week of a new year, 2018 and maybe Mr. Mattoon can get some answers on where Mattoon is headed. It would be nice for the city council and mayor to give the people of Mattoon an idea of what they want the future of our town to be. We have many problems that need taken care of from rough streets to fowl water, homeless people to run down houses. It is time to look at maybe a City-Manager type government where one person is responsible for daily functions overseeing all departments and then reports up to our mayor and city council.
Let’s look at some areas of improvement that might be appealing to Mattoon and the future. Do we have a nuisance officer to issue tickets on blighted areas in town and take people to court? I thought we did at one time, but drive around town and you see many homes falling in or not being taken care of that could shelter new families. Why are some areas of town run down with non-running cars, junk of all types (tires, wood, concrete pieces, trailers for walls, gas station roofs, etc.). Let’s clean up our town so that people have a neighborhood to be proud of.
We now have a new, functional railroad depot that our historical society worked hard to save and develop, but the area around it is deplorable. Can our city leaders not implore Canadian Northern to do some landscaping along their right-of-way? This would go a long way towards showing our city takes pride in our downtown which many business owners have made great changes and commitments too.
Last, we know taxes keep going up, yet where is the money going towards repairing and keeping our roads up? We have many big trucks that travel through our downtown and neighborhoods which cause some of the damage we see daily. Why not get our County to look at roadways around Mattoon to lessen the damage in town? It would be great if 43rd street from the new 1000N to Route 16 on the south was made heavy enough to handle semis that need to reach our businesses on the west end of Dewitt. Also a traffic route should be considered from 6th and Marion along the power lines across the fields to connect at the Country Club road. This would let the south end of town go directly out to the east-side business area without going through Wabash and Lafayette neighborhoods and lessen Charleston avenue traffic. We all know Marshall Avenue and the railroad should have been an overpass or underpass, but for my lifetime it is not going to happen.
Let’s do something to save what Mattoon is for the future.
Clarence Kersey, Mattoon