Loda's pavilion finally being repaired — and village won't pay for any labor

LODA — The pavilion at Loda’s park was being refurbished this week, and the construction company doing the work is not charging the village anything for the labor provided.

Workers for All Phases of Construction, owned by Lake Iroquois resident Brandon Eidson, began Monday setting new poles and putting up new exterior fascia on the pavilion to “sturdy it up,” said Eidson, noting the existing poles were rotting at the ground level.

The work was expected to be finished Tuesday, Eidson said.

According to Eidson, it was just a matter of time until the pavilion would have collapsed, making it a safety hazard to the children and adults in Loda who use the structure.

Eidson, whose company regularly donates to local causes, offered last summer to provide the labor free of charge for the pavilion repairs, but the work was delayed until this week.

To Roy Hilgendorf, a former village trustee in whose name the pavilion is dedicated, seeing the repairs finally be made was a pleasing moment. Hilgendorf visited with Eidson and his two workers — Mike Nugent of Paxton and Casey Struening of Loda — as the work got under way Monday morning.

“I’m just very pleased it’s finally getting done,” said the 90-year-old Hilgendorf, who as a village trustee donated much of his time and efforts to spruce up the park.

“To me, it’s not the village board that is doing this,” Hilgendorf noted. “The community is stepping up. The public is stepping up to make our park better.”

Eidson said he decided to donate the labor for the project to save the cash-strapped village some money.

“It was being bid at $2,500, and (the board) asked if I could beat that cost, and I said, ‘Well, how’s free?’” Eidson said.

“Basically, we’re looking out for the kids,” Eidson continued. “We don’t want any children or what not to get hurt here, and the way it was looking, it needed to be done. So why not donate a little bit of time? Time is money, but somebody’s life ain’t.”

Eidson worked with Kirchner Building Center in Paxton to acquire the lumber at a marked-down cost. Adam Duda, store manager at Kirchner’s, said the materials were “heavily discounted.”

Meanwhile, Scott Allen, manager of Paxton True Value Hardware & Rental, donated the use of a Vermeer on Monday for digging the post holes.

After the pavilion is repaired by All Phases of Construction, the village is expected to be accepting bids from contractors for the pressure-washing and recoating of the structure’s metal roof, along with the rewiring of the pavilion’s electrical system.

Bids are also expected to be accepted for another project: the construction of a storage shed that could be used to store the pavilion’s picnic tables so they no longer need to be hauled away to be stored for the winter.

Hilgendorf, however, hopes the work does not stop there.

“When everything gets done, the (village) board needs to step up and paint it and stuff like that,” Hilgendorf said.

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