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Rest area ahead: Rock Falls will meet deadline for donated land

Rest area must be completed by year's end

ROCK FALLS – The city is working to hit a deadline it was given 3 years ago to fulfill its obligations set forth in a land donation agreement.

The family of the late Doris and Louis Celletti agreed to donate riverfront land on East Second Street, just east of the new hotel, to the city. The donation came with conditions, which the city officially accepted in December 2014.

The Cellettis owned and operated Riverview Haven Nursing Home in Rock Falls for 40 years. The nursing home property, now the site of a Self Help Enterprises residential home, had been directly across the street from the donated parcel.

“Their property had gone all the way to the river bank before the road was put in,” Mayor Bill Wescott said.

After Louis died in 2003, his wife set up a living trust that explicitly stated the family’s plans for their riverfront lot. Since Doris died in 2013, their children have worked to ensure the conditions are being met.

The family requested that the city put up a pavilion-type structure near the river bank where people could rest and enjoy nature. They also wanted the site to be easily accessible to any future trails. Memorial signage also is to be put up and a ceremony held as a tribute to the Cellettis.

Per the agreement, all of the conditions were to be met by the end of 2017, or the land would go back to the family.

Delays with hotel construction and the RB&W Riverfront Park have the city cutting it close, but the mayor said the rest area will be completed in time.

“This is a small enough job that our city crews can do the work,” Wescott said. “We’ll meet the deadline and have the family come out for a ceremony.”

Materials have been ordered, which should arrive next month. Concrete will be poured in advance, and the street department should have everything up in a couple of days. The city has extra benches from the RB&W Park project.

The entire project will cost the city about $14,000. The mayor said the land had never been appraised, so he didn’t have a figure on its current market value.

The agreement also calls for the city to maintain the site.

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