ROCHELLE – The City of Rochelle dedicated its first new street light to honor a local resident and his family as part of the new Shining Light Program.
City officials, local resident Archie Millotte and his family members all gathered in the rain around the street light in front of Kennay Farms Distillery Wednesday afternoon for the first dedication of the program.
Any individual or group interested in dedicating a plaque can do so by going to city hall and purchasing one for $1,000. The designated recipients’ names will be engraved on a metal plaque and attached to the light pole for everyone to see.
Street lights can be dedicated to either a person, a family, an organization or a business.
“If people want to do it in memory of someone, with their family name or a local organization, they could do that,” said Jenny Thompson, director of marketing, public relations and tourism.
There are many different people and organizations helping spearhead the program, including the mayor, city manager, Rochelle Municipal Utilities staff and Kim Montgomery from the Rochelle Area Community Foundation.
While many there are many people involved, the idea was created by mayor John Bearrows as a way to both honor local residents while also helping fund future projects.
“This is an opportunity for residents to do something in honor or in memory of someone or something that they care about,” explained Bearrows. “The whole project, with the donation being made to the city helps fund some more of these LED lights and light poles.”
Millotte said that it is an honor to have his name permanently displayed downtown.
“This is an honor; my family has a lot of history. My mother and father both owned businesses down here and so did my grandparents,” added Millotte.