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Riverside trustees discuss their preferred color of concrete

RIVERSIDE – The village of Riverside will further discuss their preferred color and mix of concrete when trustees meet again June 19 after deciding to hold off on further discussion of the issue at the meeting Thursday.

The board tabled a motion Thursday that would set an ordinance stipulating the color, whether to allow both brushed or aggregate concrete and approved curing agents that can be used on resident's driveway aprons, should they be replaced. The motion was tabled to allow village staff to rework the ordinance to make it more specific and to use standards set by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

A longer discussion of trustees' preferred look of concrete was also stopped early so that trustees can tackle it as part of a boarder discussion, which also concerns sidewalk replacement in Riverside, at the next meeting.

At issue is whether the village will allow brushed concrete, aggregate or both in replacing sidewalks in the village this summer. The village will partner with the village of Western Springs and La Grange to purchase concrete this season at a discount. Both brushed and aggregate concrete will be available, with brushed being about one third cheaper. Trustees approved entering into a joint purchasing contract with the other villages, but will hold off for now on deciding what concrete to choose from.

The issue was also discussed at two previous board meetings. The discussion was held at the board's last meeting to give residents an opportunity to share their thoughts.

Of concern for some trustees is the bright white color of some concrete, created by using specific curing agents. Trustee Jean Sussman was direct in her opposition to allowing residents or the village to use a bright white concrete on their driveway aprons or when replacing Riverside's sidewalks. Sussman said she prefers aggregate concrete be used for sidewalk replacement to preserve the village's aesthetic character and look, despite getting approximately an additional 75 sqaures for the same price with brushed concrete, which other trustees, such as Mike Foley, favor in order to replace more of the village's sidewalk squares.

Brushed concrete, looks much as it sounds, often grey and with distinctive brush marks on the surface. Aggregate concrete uses small river stones for a pebbled texture, which was historically used in much of Riverside, including in the downtown business district.

While four separate discussions on the color of concrete may seems like overkill, trustees said they wanted to make sure the village retained a uniform look.

The issue is planned to appear on the board's next agenda and residents will have an additional opportunity to weigh in on the matter at the next meeting.

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