Council to hear proposal for downtown speakers

<p>File Photo</p>
File Photo

A little background music could soon add to the atmosphere in downtown Naperville.

City Council members Tuesday night will consider giving staff the go-ahead to seek bids for installation of a network of outdoor speakers in the inner retail/restaurant district. The target area — roughly bounded by Benton Avenue, Webster Street, Water Street and Washington Street — would not incorporate the Riverwalk.

Similar to the systems in place for several years in Plainfield and other area municipalities, the speakers would replace the existing sound system with a wireless network to pipe in chosen musical selections aimed at adding to the downtown ambiance.

The upgrade has been a dream of the Downtown Naperville Alliance for a while. In a June 10 letter to the council, DNA board chairman Chris Finck and Katie Wood, the organization’s executive director, noted that music “infuses joy, a festive spirit and adds to the linger factor” found in other communities that have added the auditory amenity.

“The DNA Management Council for many years has spoken of the desire to add an ambiance enhancing music sound system to our downtown and cited this as the top development ‘wish list’ priority,” Finck and Wood wrote. “We would like approval of this phase 1 only in this calendar year in time for this holiday season, a critical time of success for our downtown business owners.”

The proposal calls for public input to be gathered before subsequent phases of the speaker system are installed.

The project’s first phase, allotted $150,000 in the city’s 2016 capital improvement budget, is expected to cost just more than $66,000, according to a recent consultant’s estimate.

The consultant also recommends “phasing installation by zone using a complete wireless distributed sound system that will allow for flexibility for adding and deleting zones, muting zones when required and interchangeability of system components,” according to a staff memo.

The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers of the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.

Up for consideration

Issue: Letting a contract for design and construction of a household hazardous waste facility.

Background: The city plans to build a 4,935-square-foot collection center on 2.1 acres next to the Public Works Service Center at Fort Hill Drive and Jefferson Avenue. Original plans called for a 7,200-square-foot facility, but the design was curtailed when two bids came in, the lowest of which was $1.56 million — more than 40 percent higher than expected.

What it means: If approved, the contract awarded to Lamp Inc. of Elgin will have a cap of $1,236,982, with the customary 3 percent contingency.

Issue: Finishing up the Carillon Club.

Background: The final plat for unit 7 will be up for approval. The 44-acre segment of the adult community at 248th Avenue and 95th Street is proposed to add 114 single-family living units to the 76 homes approved by the council last year.

What it means: Unit 7 will complete the 778-home development initially approved by the council in 2006.

Issue: Hearing a staff report on recycling cart funding.

Background: The council in April approved the $1.87 million purchase of about 41,000 wheeled receptacles, but has yet to decide whether to require residents who choose to recycle to help pay for them.

What it means: The report was not available as of Friday afternoon, but options suggested so far include a temporary upcharge on customers’ monthly bills and applying tax revenue that was not anticipated when the current municipal budget was put together.

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