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Yorkville considers forming downtown business group

Updated: August 13, 2013 6:15AM

YORKVILLE — Aldermen will continue to look at the possibility of forming a committee of downtown business owners.

The committee would consider issues relating to downtown, possibly even taking stands on those issues. At the very least, aldermen are hoping it might improve communication between downtown businesses and the city.

Alderman Diane Teeling, 4th Ward, suggested the idea several weeks ago in the wake of several things that happened downtown, including issues relating to the Route 47 project.

Shortly after that project began, the city closed access from Route 47 to Hydraulic Street, which includes a row of businesses such as Freeman’s Outdoor sports, Yorkville Kayak, River City Roasters coffeehouse and Foxy’s Ice Cream.

The move was done for safety reasons, with police and city officials concerned about people trying to turn left off Route 47 onto Hydraulic.

While the state was going to close the street anyway, city officials did it early, and the businesses along Hydraulic were upset they were not told about it ahead of time.

Several of those businesses have reported decreases in business this summer due to the street closing.

Teeling pointed out there used to be a downtown business association, and said having such an association again might keep communication lines open. She added that other downtowns in the area have prospered with good cooperation between the city and downtown.

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