The Morris City Council has three proposals on building on the former school property. And what are the proposals? Housing, housing and housing!
This is a prime piece of real estate close to the center of Morris, and what are we going to do: build more houses when there are already plenty of lots in and around Morris ready for housing. And nothing unique is planned, just more housing for students, seniors and others.
Let us make this area unique. How about on the south side along Fifth Street, where there is a high berm, build houses with the garages in the rear, maybe even under the houses, so that ugly garages don't take up most of the front, as we see in most new housing. The same along Columbia Avenue. Then build an alley to service those garages. Along Seventh Street and College Avenue, normal houses. And then in the middle of it all, let's do something different, not just a lot of houses. How about a miniature golf course, a swimming pool, bocce ball courts, pickle ball courts, tennis ball courts, a playground, an amphitheatre? Just some ideas, not just more houses.
Sure, there will be a cost, and voters have said no to a swimming pool, but maybe, just maybe this time voters will be more forward looking. The area needs to be something Morris will be proud of for decades to come; not just more housing which every city has. And sure, the city will lose tax money, but in the end, the houses will be worth more and thus taxed more with all the attractions there.
I know the cemeteries would like to have part of the land, but why not buy land north of state Highway 28 for cemeteries? It would not be real close to the present cemeteries, but it would not be that far away. And, unless the cemeteries bought the entire acreage, in time, that would be full, also.
Think folks, think!