City of Lincoln approves
additional funding needed to complete National Park Service Route 66
Corridor Project Grant for the Mill
Additional signage for the 1926-30
alignment of Route 66 through Lincoln to the Historic Downtown
District and to The Mill
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[November 11, 2016]
Monday, November 7th, 2016, the Lincoln City Council voted
unanimously to approve the additional funding needed from the City's
Hotel/Motel tax, to cover unexpected additional expenses required to
complete The Mill on Route 66 Accessibility Project Grant that was
awarded earlier in the year by the National Park Service Route 66
At the same time, the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway has been
working with the City of Lincoln and the Illinois Department of
Transportation to update Illinois Route 66 directional signage in
the city, including signing the 1926-1930 Route 66 alignment for the
first time, which goes directly through the Historic Downtown
Lincoln district and passes by The Mill. The signage initiative is
in progress and is expected to take 30-60 days to complete.
Bob Wilmert, President of the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan
County, submitted a letter to the City Council prior to the historic
vote on Monday:
"I am writing to ask
your support for the extra $4,755.71 that we need for our ADA
accessible restroom facility at The Mill. The required revisions
will mean that we never will have to address this important issue
again. It will allow us to expand to full-time hours at any time. It
will be a big positive factor in attracting bus tours.
We very much appreciate your support of $12,000 already. We have a
great weather forecast to still get this project done right away. By
providing us with this additional amount, we will be able to keep
our reserve funds to finish the interior work and have our first
year of expenses covered. It will keep us on schedule for our grand
opening in April, 2017."
Wilmert added his thanks to
all supporters, donors and volunteers to The Mill over the last ten
years, including the City of Lincoln.
William Kelly, Executive Director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic
Byway, in a letter to the Lincoln City Council, made a strong
recommendation for their financial support to finish the renovations
to The Mill.
"These restroom enhancements will enable The Mill to accommodate the
full spectrum of visitors and enable this iconic Route 66 landmark
to draw travelers from around the world to spend their time and
money in Lincoln," said Kelly.
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The news about The Mill and the Route 66 signage for Lincoln came
just days before the 90th Anniversary of the creation of Route 66,
which historians cite as November 11, 1926.
"The City of Lincoln has made an historic contribution to Route 66 with both
these initiatives," said Geoff Ladd, who is Program Manager of the Illinois
Route 66 Scenic Byway, as well as board member and past president of the Route
66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County. This is a great 90th birthday gift to
Route 66 from the City of Lincoln. We couldn't have done it without them and we
are grateful," said Ladd.
Both initiatives will benefit each other, according to Ladd, noting that The
Mill, once it opens as a Route 66 museum in April, will be promoting the
historic downtown and other attractions in Lincoln and Logan County. "The Byway
feels that the best way to find Abraham Lincoln is from traveling Route 66.
Central Illinois is the only part of all of Route 66 from Chicago to Santa
Monica where the histories of Abraham Lincoln and Route 66 converge, and this is
a great opportunity for tourism and economic development in Lincoln and along
Illinois Route 66," said Ladd.
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway]