Curt Dougherty wants the Pioneer Spring Cabin moved and perhaps fixed up.
While he's not been alone in that sentiment, the Independence City Council member wants to make sure it happens.
The council Monday passed Dougherty's requested resolution to direct the city to relocate the cabin, currently at the corner of Truman and Noland roads, to a “suitable historic location” in Independence.
The cabin, one of few remaining examples of 19th-century log house construction in Independence, sits next to the historic site of a former spring outside the Sermon Center, but had been moved to there from its original Walnut Street location to avoid demolition in 1972. The resolution calls for the cabin to be disassembled by Aug. 1.
City officials had discussed such a move as far back as 2011 – with the land across the railroad tracks from National Frontier Trails Museum and Chicago & Alton Depot a possible new spot – and even appropriated $34,000 for such a project along with a smaller sum to study the best method. But the project never happened, and the building remains mostly locked up and an eyesore. The council and city manager's office have completely changed over since then.
“This was not something that came out of thin air,” Dougherty said. “The mistake they made was they didn't put a date on it.”
Council Member Scott Roberson was the lone no vote, saying that though he thought it was a good idea he wondered how to pay for it as the city finalized the upcoming 2018-19 budget.
“I'm confident we can find the money to do so,” Council Member John Perkins said.
Dougherty later proposed the council rescind approval from two weeks earlier of the contract for the 2018 asphalt street overlay project, which had been awarded to Superior Bowen, in favor of Ideker, which had a lower bid ($4.867 million) by $57,000.
The city had sought council's approval for Ideker, which had done the overlay project in 2013. But Superior Bowen had done it 13 of the past 15 years, and Mayor Eileen Weir proposed changing to them, citing continuity and the relatively small difference. Only Roberson and Karen DeLuccie (who was absent Monday) voted against the change, and Roberson voted for the substituted contract.
“You wondered how we'll pay for it; I just found the money,” Dougherty said. Later, he said he knew street sales tax funds (which pay for the overlay project) couldn't be used for the cabin, but he believed such a move could create wiggle room in the overall budget to add a project as he requested.