So: yours truly decided last week that the best way to figure out exactly what Joliet city manager Tom Thanas meant by that $30K figure for redoing the Rich & Creamy ice cream stand’s roof was to write to Thanas and ask. What a novel idea, you say (no, not really; just comes from me being a journalist for lo, these many years). I also mentioned to him that the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Authority had a grant program, as does the National Park Service, for rehabbing historic sites and official roadside attractions along Route 66 (which information I received from Stacy Conn over at the byway; thank you, Stacy!). And Mr. Thanas deigned to reply!! Imagine that.
Here’s his reply on August 4th:
Ms. Traska . . .
Do you believe everything you read in newspapers?
The building needs much more attention than just a new roof. The work needed to restore the building is estimated to be $30,000. It won’t get any cheaper with the passage of time.
I have asked a staff member to work on various grant opportunities. Let’s hope a source of funding is found.
Without mentioning the two grant possibilities that I recommended to him, the city manager seems to be moving in that general direction. You’re welcome, dude. Of course, I couldn’t let that not-especially-veiled dig at journalists go by, especially as Mr. Thanas’s own e-mail last week to my colleague Joe Kubal seemed to indicate that the $30K was for the roof alone (apparently the city manager’s mistake, not mine) … so I sent another reply:
Mr. Thanas —
Thanks for your speedy reply. So I’m correct, then, in guessing that the $30K would be for far more than just the roof. That sounds right. Good luck with those grant applications — I’m sure Stacy’s organization will welcome your application. We look forward to seeing a renovated and revivified Rich & Creamy in the foreseeable future!
As for believing what I read in newspapers … being in journalism myself, I like to check on these things firsthand. Which is why I asked. Thanks!
And now, of course, we’ll wait to see exactly what will come of all this. Which means we’ll probably wait for several months, if not more, as grant applications, etc., take a while to be written and get a response. Oh, well; there’ll be plenty of other Route 66 news to cover between now and then, we suspect.
Speaking of which: we made the news last Friday! Which is to say, our efforts to memorialize fallen Route 66 hero Bruno Schustek of the Stinson Airport tragedy were written up in the Elmhurst, IL edition of the SuburbanLife newspapers. The article can be found here online. Our thanks to reporter Mari Grigaliunas for the coverage.
Until next time,