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Dixon Park District to consider involvement in Reagan statue effort after city cuts ties

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DIXON, Illinois — A committee dedicated to bringing a statue of former President Ronald Reagan as a young lifeguard to his hometown in northern Illinois is seeking a new public partner after local leaders withdrew their support.

The Dixon Park District will now consider whether to approve a proposal from the Ronald Reagan Lifeguard Statue Committee to display the 10-foot bronze statue in Lowell Park. If the board of directors gives its approval, the park district would become financially involved.

Committee members asked the park board Wednesday to become a partner after the Dixon City Council cut the city's financial involvement in the project, citing legal issues.

In 2013, when the committee was formed under Dixon Tourism, the statue was estimated to cost $120,000, plus the cost of its design, Sauk Valley Media (http://bit.ly/1OCjVx7 ) reported. The statue is meant to honor Reagan's time as a lifeguard at Dixon's Lowell Park, where he was credited with saving 77 lives from 1926 to 1933.

Committee members and supporters of the project believe the statue would increase tourism, because many people are interested in traveling to Dixon to see where Reagan grew up.

The park board currently is waiting to see whether the project is feasible, and plans to consider the condition of the road leading to the park and maintenance of the statue, executive director Deb Carey said.

The board could take up the issue at its next meeting on Aug. 12.


Information from: Dixon Telegraph, http://www.saukvalley.com

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