MATTOON – The duplex co-developer in the 1200 block of Shelby Avenue and its residents have asked Mattoon City Council to keep the west side of Shelby Avenue and 12th Street closed to traffic.

Senior living duplex developer Bill Standerfer of Mattoon presented a petition signed by all 10 residents of the eight duplex units there on Tuesday. Asked by Mayor Rick Hall, Standerfer said he presented the petition as a precaution after hearing a member of the community suggest opening the intersection.

This intersection was originally closed as a safety measure about 100 years ago, when Washington Elementary School was built on the north side of Shelby, across from Cunningham Park. The school building was closed and then demolished in 2004.






Mattoon real estate developer Bill Standerfer presented a petition to Mattoon City Council on Tuesday to keep the west side of the intersection of Shelby Avenue and 12th Street closed to traffic, next to Cunningham Park. The closure dates back about 100 years, when Washington Elementary School was built north of the park. Standerfer began developing senior duplexes on Shelby’s north side around 2005 after the old Washington building was demolished.


ROB STROUD, JOURNAL GAZETTE & TIMES-COURIER


Standerfer said while reading the petition when the property was sold to a group of developers in 2005, the then city director of public works agreed to allow the existing closure at the east end of Shelby between the park. and the duplexes then planned.

“Because there is no through traffic, senior residents feel safe getting out of their cars and walking to the park. Young children using park facilities are safer without the through traffic, ”Standerfer said. He added: “One of the good things about the property and one of the reasons we chose this place to rent is that there is no through traffic.”

Standerfer said the developers plan to coordinate with the city to complete a permanent landscaped boulevard and walkway at the closed intersection to improve the use and appearance of the area. Asked by a member of the council, Standerfer indicated that he could develop this boulevard next spring but wants to make sure that he will not have to remove it afterwards. The west side of the intersection is currently blocked by two concrete barriers.

In other areas, the board recognized the retirement of Lt. Travis Easton for his 18 years of service with the Mattoon Police Department. Chief Sam Gaines said his time with the department included duties as a range instructor and detective.

The board then promoted Sergeant. Shawn Brunson to lieutenant to fill Easton’s position and promote Officer Peter Lusk to sergeant to fill Brunson’s position. Brunson served 10 years with the department, including time with the East Central Illinois task force. Lusk served nine years with the department and is a field training officer and the commander of the Coles County Crisis Response Team.

Contact Rob Stroud at 217-238-6861.