“ A City at the Crossroads” was the headline in the Dixon paper a few weeks ago and I thought how fitting that statement was for Oregon.
We are at the crossroads to find whether we will lose a street and face the construction with all its inconveniences of a three-story jail. A structure that would be there a very long time.
We have a new bank - the view from the building would be a brick wall, just as it would be for the residents, and a brick wall says “no!”.
I would like to get personal with the members of the Planning Commission, the Long Range Committee, the Economic Development Committee and the Oregon City Council
When you accepted the job, did you have goals in mind? Personal as well as goals that would serve the people who put their trust in you to do the job?
I am asking you to think back on these goals, and how the challenge of the Ogle County Board and the proposed jail on Sixth Street fits with those goals.
Goals I hope you had to help Oregon, grow and prosper.
The 50-year plan is flawed as they only tell what they are going to remove. The plan has not been thought through as to the economic impact it would have on the city and the citizens of Oregon.
Prime real estate and business locations have been sacrificed to what seems almost an ego trip for the Ogle County Board.
The Ogle county Board is asking the people of Oregon, to pay too high a price for this new jail.
There is an alternative location for the new jail and yes, it would involve some transportation of prisoners, but consider the price of transportation compared to the loss of a street and real estate and business opportunities there alternative location is best.
I agree that First Street, behind the Ogle County Safety building is not the best location though that was the original plan at the planning stage.
Plans for the river front development should be considered first as this would bring revenue to Oregon. Again opportunity to create business with this development.
With all the petitions, letters to the editors, meetings, both public and scheduled, it would seem the people have spoken that the proposed jail should be located elsewhere and Sixth Street should remain open.
A jail is not a prison
It is time for someone in the county to explain the difference between a jail and a prison.
I went to a county board meeting a few months ago where there was total confusion.
If you were to break it down and explain what a jail is and how it works people may be more receptive to having a new building in downtown Oregon.
The jail is an intricate part of the court system, and for the courts to operate efficiently the jail needs to be in close proximity to the court.
Basically a jail is a place where people who have committed a crime, are held for a bail hearing and if they cannot make bond, they are held until their trial date.
Most crimes, while listed as felonies may include drunk drivers, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, abuse, etc.
I would say majority of these crimes are committed by people of Ogle County or surrounding Lee or Winnebago Counties.
Some of these people may be your neighbor or someone you know.
They committed an act they are not proud of and spend the night in jail.
These people are not hardened criminals.
Most jails have a cell with several cots.
They also have a cell for someone who may be a violent criminal.
Most jails are built near a courthouse for easy transport of a prisoner for trial.
A jail can only hold a prisoner for one year. If someone is sentenced to more then a year, they go to a prison.
There are no barbed wire fences where prisoners are in a jail yard as you see in movies and TV. These type of places are called prisons.
People that are worried about closing Sixth Street, there is a Fifth Street and a Seventh Street, so it wouldn’t be that big of an inconvenience.
Oregon is the county seat, it has the county court building and the jail. This is all part of being the county seat.
The jail is already downtown next to the administration building.
Putting it in a nicer building that blends in would be a good thing for Oregon.
It would make it look like there is actually something downtown.
Most people don’t realize that the jail is already downtown and probably won’t notice it in a nicer building.
Hopefully, there will be a tour of the building before it opens.
Sinnissippi art sale successful
On behalf of the Sinnissippi Foundation I would like to thank all of our sponsors, donating artists, silent auction donors, participants, volunteers and others who made the 13th annual Expressions Art Sale and Reception a success.
The event was held April 4th through the 21st with our concluding reception on the 21st, at the The Next Picture Show in Dixon.
We had a wonderful crowd of artists, supporters, and others who attended Expressions.
The entire list of individuals and organizations who played a part is too long to mention here, but we would like to mention and thank our cosponsor, Sauk Valley Bank, our Partner in Health Sponsor KSB Hospital, and all the staff and volunteers at The Next Picture Show.
No organization or event can ever achieve such success alone, but can do much with the help of their community, and this event is a great demonstration of that.
The proceeds from Expressions will benefit children, adolescents, and adults served by Sinnissippi Centers with short term, urgent, needs.
On behalf of everyone you have helped, thank you.
Sinnissippi Centers, Inc.