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Photo by Diane Cox
Director of Development and Housing Greg Caffey stands with Public Works Director Bobby Barnhart, Mayor Brant Walker, Cool Cities Committee Chairman Wayne Politsch, Zeke Jabusch and David Boulds at the park’s front gates.
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Photo by Diane Cox
Alton’s Seventh Ward alderman and Cool Cities committee member David Boulds stands with Walker during the announcement about new infrastructure projects at the park.
ALTON — Mayor Brant Walker says a project announced Friday morning at Gordon F. Moore Park embodies his mayoral platform: “if you want a better city, you have to build it.”
Dr. Gordon F. Moore, local clubs, organizations, businesses and volunteers built the 704-acre park comprised of eight tennis courts, 10 ball diamonds, a 27-hole golf course, six picnic areas, six play areas, 11 soccer and football fields, restrooms, concessions, bleachers and an interactive fountain for children. Featured throughout the park are a nature trail and memorial areas, including the Worker’s Statue, Freedom Shrine, Hosta Garden, Rose Garden with fountain and the Veteran’s Fountain. A 13-acre fishing lake is stocked by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources near the Oriental Garden waterfall and pond.
“We want Gordon Moore to continue to grow and thrive and be a great place for families in our community,” Walker said. “A big part of my platform as mayor was to continue to improve the quality of life for our residents. If you want a city to grow and advance, you have to take the steps to improve it. If you want a better city, you have to build it and that’s what we’re doing, one step at a time.”
“We are taking great strides with improvements to our infrastructure,” Walker said. “We’re doing a lot of work on College, Washington Avenue, State Street and more. Residents are going to see a lot of changes here at Gordon Moore Park. We have a lot of things in store for this facility in the near future.”
After careful review with the Cool Cities committee, Public Works Director Bobby Barnhart applied for grants in March 2016 from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Through the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council, $687,000 in grants was approved.
“The grant we were recently awarded will greatly improve air quality and reduce the time guests wait to exit the park,” Barnhart said. “We are going to straighten the intersection, coordinate signs and stop lights, widen the entrance and exits to allow for an easier flow of traffic.”
“The gates are the original gates installed when the park opened,” he said. “We will widen the gates to allow for a left turn lane, a right turn lane and a designated direct lane that will cross Illinois 140 to the south side. We haven’t decided exactly how we’re going to work the gates, but we hope to use a lot of the original materials.”
The city will begin seeking bids in 2017 with construction anticipated to be completed by 2018.
“We plan to have much of the construction done during the non-peak months,” Seventh Ward Alderman David Boulds said. “This will give the visitors of the park a speedier way in and out. With cars sitting idle and air conditioners running in the hotter months, the air quality has been insufficient. The Cool Cities Committee has done a great job with investigating our local tendencies and we found that people are not rushing to get in, but they’re all rushing to leave at the same time.”
The Cool Cities Committee consists of Chairman Wayne Politsch, Zeke Jabusch, Adam Piepert, Jeff Dale, Boulds, Laura Asher and Randy Hausmann.
Meetings are at 4 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month at Alton City Hall. Anyone with questions concerning the Cool Cities Committee can contact Matthew H. Asselmeier at (618) 463-3801. Information on Alton city projects is available at cityofaltonil.com.
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