So we’ve been following the brouhaha over the roof situation at the Rich & Creamy ice cream stand on Broadway Street/IL 53 in Joliet. The fuss is between the stand’s current operators, who rent it, and the landlord, which is the city of Joliet. The stand is an official Route 66 Roadside Attraction, so of course Route 66 aficionados are concerned about its preservation.
The operators figured roof repairs would cost about $19,000, according to one estimate they’d received. The city manager, Tom Thanas, balked at paying that much and hinted that maybe the stand should simply be torn down … until people began complaining and sending him e-mail (which we encouraged). My colleague Joe Kubal, a contributor to this blog, sent his own protest e-mail. But look at the reply Mr. Thanas sent (below): suddenly, his estimate of roof repairs has ballooned to $30,000. WHY??? What could possibly cost that much?
Mr. Kubal . . .
Thank you for the note. Our goal is to renovate the ice cream stand and make it safer considering it’s [sic] proximity to a busy state highway. The immediate need is a new roof . . . estimated to cost $30,000. Other improvements are needed. We will be investigating various funding options. If you are aware of any grant programs that may be available for a Route 66 icon, let us know.
There is no plan for immediate demolition . . . demolition will be a last resort and only after all funding efforts have failed.
Thank you for your interest in preserving the ice cream stand.
Aha, you say: the city manager must be thinking that the total renovations including the roof will run $30,000 … except that, oh wait: he’s claiming that just the roof will cost $30K. One of our correspondents duly snarks that he just had the roof on his entire house redone for only $2K, so he’s skeptical. Well, so are we. What’s the rest of that $30K for? Anyone who gets a good answer on that, please let us know. Y’all don’t be shy, now.
Until next time,