CLINTON — Gil Janes’ dedication to making Clinton a better place was unending, especially for someone who wasn’t from Clinton, those who knew him said.
In turn for his tireless efforts, the city of Clinton bestowed Janes with the inaugural Mayor’s Prestigious Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Improvements.
“He wasn’t based in Clinton, but he spent a lot of time trying to make Clinton a better place,” Mayor Mark Vulich said.
Vulich chose Janes, who was an engineer with Cedar Rapids-based Howard R. Green for more than 30 years before he died last week, as the first recipient for a number of reasons, including the work he did to see ensure the Liberty Square project happened.
“Without him I don’t think the project ever would have gotten off the ground and even if it did, I don’t think it would have been of this magnitude. He really had a vision,” Vulich said.
Clinton resident and transportation advocate Edith Pfeffer met Janes in 1997 after he started working on the Liberty Square project. She lauded Janes’ meticulous nature and work scouring for money to make U.S. 30 the gateway to the community.
Janes’ work included several trips to Des Moines and Washington, D.C., that resulted in millions of dollars being funneled to Clinton. In addition to his work on Liberty Square, Janes was instrumental in the city’s Lincoln Way project that also shaped U.S. 30 through Clinton as well as helping with the Sawmill Museum and the Children’s Discovery Center.
“He adopted Clinton,” Pfeffer said. “He was very caring, compassionate and knowledgeable. He has, without a doubt, left a major impact on the city of Clinton.”
During the Clinton City Council’s meeting Tuesday night, Vulich read a proclamation awarding the honor to Janes, which also called attention to his work.