DEMOTTE — Two eye-catching public works of art will be coming to DeMotte this summer.
Jasper County Economic Development asked for and received permission to move ahead with its plan to bring public art to the Town of DeMotte.
“We have seen the impact art can have on communities and how it has driven tourism and vibrancy in Jasper County and we are excited to bring that same impact to DeMotte,” said Tori Phegley, Tourism & Community Relations Coordinator for Jasper County Economic Development
Over the past several years, artists have come to Jasper County to make buildings in Remington and Rensselaer their canvases with numerous murals painted around the towns.
However, the planned project will be a little different for DeMotte. This project will include a large mural on the West wall of Valley Collision Center and a sculpture that will be placed along the walking path in Spencer Park.
The total project will cost $26,000 and is already completely funded. The project is being funded by Jasper County Tourism, Jasper County Economic Development, and with a grant from the Jasper Newton Foundation.
Cameron Moberg, from San Francisco, will be making a return trip to Jasper County to paint the mural the week of June 7. Cory Malchow, a Jasper County native, but now lives in Milwaukee will be doing the sculpture. The grand revealing of the sculpture will also be the week of June 7.
Moberg will also be doing classes on graffiti art on June 7 starting at 9 a.m. at Valley Collision Center.
“He loves visitors,” added Phegley.
“I think it is a great idea,” said Council President Jeff Cambe. “It sounds very exciting and the murals really draw attention to the towns.”
The town council approved a Slum and Blight Declaratory Resolution designating 900 S. Halleck Street (the Old Marathon Gas Station) as a structure3 in need of redevelopment. The resolution paves away for the town to apply for a grant to tear down the structure and prepare it for future development, however, the property will first have to be a vacant lot for five years or portions of the grant will have to be paid back by the town.
Emily Albaugh of the Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (KIRPC) said during the public hearing, that took place during the town council’s regular meeting on April 26, the cost to purchase the property is not known yet but an appraisal will be completed soon.
The total price tag of the project, including hard and soft cost, is estimated at $244,293 with the town responsible for a 10 percent local match.
If approved for the grant the first phase will be to conduct an environmental study, Albaugh added.
In related news, to apply for the Community Development Block Grant, the town council also had to approve a Community Led Process Resolution, which guarantees no double-dipping with federal funds. DeMotte is currently estimated to receive $870,000 from The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the resolution calls for the council to put a plan together on what that funding will be used on.
In other action, the council accepted the low bid of $3,213,194 from Grimmer Construction for the I-65 Extension for sewer in Division B, which runs from Castongias to I-65.