Business owner pays for repaving

By Gary Brode |

Published 05/21 2014 09:31AM

Updated 06/26 2014 05:23PM

Update: 4:10 pm, 6/26/14, Thursday
CHAMPAIGN -- The drive is now a little smoother on an area street. Armory is being repaved after a harsh winter did a number on it. The work has a price-tag of $325,000. It would have been awhile before the city could repair it, so business owner, Jimmy John Liautaud, stepped up and covered the cost. He and his wife live on the street.
Original: 10:01 pm, 5/20/14, Tuesday
CHAMPAIGN -- An area street just might get a makeover thanks to a large donation from a familiar business owner. Jimmy John Liautaud and his wife, Leslie, want the street they live on paved; and they're willing to pay for it. WCIA-3's Gary Brode finds out why.

Armory Street is like so many others which took a beating this winter. But, it's not bad enough to be fixed by the city, so the Liautaud's are working on a plan to take care of it. The kicker? It won't cost the city a dime.

"I'm really surprised."

So are others living in this neighborhood when they found out a family down the street is paying for a new road.

"It's unusual. We don't often have people do that kind of thing, but we're excited and it's just wonderful."

The proposal to fix part of Armory and possibly Fox Drive, is being passed around city council.

"This donation is an awesome win for the city."

The work would cost about $325,000.

"This is great! The roads can always use it. I don't know if it's the worse condition here, but if someone wants to put the money in, let's do it!"

Without the Liautaud's, it would be a while before Armory would be smoothed over.

"The street itself has been looked at. At this point, it didn't meet the city's criteria for repaving, so it wasn't in our three year master plan."

Council member Karen Foster is in favor of the proposed plan. So are neighbors.

"It's going to be great for us to have that and it's really nice that there are neighbors that would do that."

"That's what makes this community so special. We have people who are willing to do stuff like that."

Jimmy Liataud says he wants to do this to help out the city and show his appreciation. It certainly gives new meaning to "adopt a road."

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