MT. VERNON, IL — The Mt. Vernon City Council is gearing up for the return of Fall Fest downtown this September. The September 25th parade will also be a part of this closure and include Illinois Route 15 and 37 at 4pm through the duration of the parade. Approval came to close various streets during the annual weekend (23rd-26th) at Monday night’s meeting. However, that was not the only fall festival the council approved closure of streets for, Ninth Street between Jordan Street and Casey Avenue will be closed form 9a-6pm on August 7th for the Mt. Vernon Home Brewers Festival. Ninth Street will also be closed between Main and Harrison from 3-10pm on November 6th for the Greater Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce to celebrate their 100th anniversary. Illinois 15 will also be closed temporarily westbound from Marlow Road to the junction of Old IL 15 and IL 15 at the east end of Mt. Vernon for the July 4th “Salute to Freedom” fireworks.
In other council business;
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois State Historical preservation office along with the city of Mt. Vernon have come to an agreement to preserve parts of the L&N water tower after it is demolished and certain pieces from it will become part of an exhibit or a display at the Jefferson County Historical Village. The city is currently planning for the upcoming demolition project of the existing tower at the end of the 20th Street and they’ll replace it with a larger one at the same site. The Tower is 100+years old and Mt. Vernon is applying for an IEPA loan to fund much of the estimated $2 million tower replacement project costs. According to Mount Vernon City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel, the city will have to advertise for the exhibit and have an opening as well as run the exhibit for a period of time for the public’s education regarding the tank and city’s water system and the historical importance of the tower. The agreement should cost the city around $11,000 at the most. City officials said at Monday night’s meeting they will likely have to replace the current 100,000 gallon tower with a larger tank but it is unclear the size of the new tower at this time. The current L&N tower is an optimal location for the city’s water distribution system which is why it is so important for this agreement to come through along with the loan to fund the demolition and replacement.