Village Engineer, Kevin Heitz (right) explains possilbe remedies to Rep. Long

Utica… State Representative Jerry Long (R-Streator) and State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) toured the Utica stretch of the I&M Canal with State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and Brad Carlson and Steve Ettinger from the IDNR office to evaluate the efforts necessary to restore it to its full potential. The tour was led by Kevin Heitz, the Village Engineer, and David Stewart, the Village President.  
            This particular stretch of the canal has become overgrown with vegetation due to a lack of flowing water over the past several years. Unfortunately, the berms and aqueducts initially constructed on both ends of the Utica portion of the I&M have deteriorated over time allowing the tributaries of the canal to continue on their original paths. The village is exploring options through IDNR to remedy the situation so that the I&M Canal can again be used by citizens and tourists alike.
            “Utica is in a very unique situation,” said Rep. Long. “As a debt free community they have put themselves in an excellent position to do something about the canal. With the millions of tourists that pass through every year on their way to Starved Rock, the community deserves to enjoy their portion of the I&M for fishing in the summertime, ice skating in the winter, or for a casual hike. Sen. Rezin and I will assist in the process of getting it restored to its former glory in any way we can. I want to extend my thanks to IDNR for being so receptive during this process.”