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Local News

Joliet businessman calls for elevator upgrades

Businessman calls for upgrades; city working on it

Joliet City Hall
Joliet City Hall

Joliet businessman George Rydman is urging the city to upgrade the elevator at the Ottawa Street Parking Deck.

Noting the elevator dates back to the construction of the deck in the 1970s, Rydman suggested to City Council members, “Take a look at it. It’s scary and old.”

He made his comments at the Joliet City Council meeting on Tuesday, the first meeting after the council approved spending $66,313 for major upgrades for the elevator at Joliet Route 66 Stadium.

Rydman said the elevator in the parking deck gets more use, and it’s used year-round.

“It’s five days a week, 500 to 600 cars a day,” he said.

Rydman said employees for his company, George E. Rydman & Associates, need the elevators to carry files on carts to their cars. When it’s not working, he said, they have to tote the carts up and down the deck ramps.

The city for years has contemplated changes and upgrades at the parking decks. At one time, the city considering turning over both decks, including the one on Scott Street, to a private company.

The decks still operate much like they did when built, including cash-only payments collected manually. The parking rate is 50 cents an hour.

Interim City Attorney Martin Shanahan acknowledged that the decks need improvements but said no plan is in place.

“We’re still evaluating what we need to do with it,” Shanahan said. “It does need work.”

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