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Batavia applies for county grants

BATAVIA – The Batavia City Council is applying for two county grants to fund sidewalk improvements and a river corridor redevelopment plan.

Aldermen Monday approved applying for a $170,000 Kane County Community Development Block Grant to fund about 3,300 feet of sidewalks near the central part of Batavia.

“In order to be funded, the projects must primarily benefit residential areas,” Batavia Community Development Director Scott Buening said in a memo to aldermen.

The city would provide a local match of $134,450.

“These are all sidewalks that have been planned for as part of the sidewalk capital improvement plan, but were not programmed for a specific year,” Buening said.

Fourth Ward Alderman Jim Volk said the project “will make all of Batavia a more walkable community.”

Aldermen also approved applying for $50,000 in Kane County riverboat funds to fund a River Corridor Redevelopment Plan for the Fox River. The plan would encompass downtown Batavia, from the North Batavia Dam southward to Clark Island.

The city would match $50,000. The plan is expected to cost about $100,000, Batavia City Administrator Bill McGrath said.

McGrath said the plan needs to be done for several reasons, including addressing the erosion that is occurring in certain segments of the Fox River.

“The erosion not only takes away land, but the soils that are lost damage the river itself,” McGrath said in a memo to aldermen. “We are lucky enough to have a nice section of relatively shallow water which is a great environment for a variety of wildlife not seen elsewhere in the middle of urban areas.”

McGrath said officials also need to plan how the river can be better accessed and used.

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