Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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Park and Recreational Facility Construction program accepting grant applications

$25 million available for park and recreation projects through Illinois Jobs Now

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[January 28, 2014]  SPRINGFIELD The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is now accepting grant applications for the state's Park and Recreational Facility Construction program. The program will provide grants to eligible local governments for acquisition, development, construction, rehabilitation or other capital improvements to park and recreation facilities in Illinois.

For the current fiscal year, grants totaling $25 million are available through funding provided by the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, an initiative of Gov. Pat Quinn. The maximum grant award for qualifying projects for fiscal 2014 is $2.5 million.

The IDNR will accept applications from qualifying units of local government through March 10.

"Public parks and open space shouldn't be a luxury. Everyone has the right to enjoy recreation opportunities safely and locally. The investments made through PARC funds are vital to the economies and health of local communities and their residents," said IDNR Director Marc Miller. "I want to thank Gov. Quinn for making this long-term investment in local parks and recreation that will pay long-term dividends for Illinois communities."

The PARC grants can fund bondable bricks-and-mortar projects that include demolition, site preparation and improvements for indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, reconstruction, improvements and expansion to existing facilities, and new construction. Projects involving land acquisition for construction of new or expansion of existing indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, and for open space and conservation purposes, are also eligible.

Illinois previously invested $50 million in PARC grants for park districts and other local government projects in 2011, the first year of the program.

The program will reimburse grant recipients up to 75 percent of approved project costs. Up to 90 percent reimbursement will be available to local governments defined as disadvantaged.

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This grant program does not replace the annual Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program, known as OSLAD. The PARC projects must be "bondable," according to state guidelines, which is not required for OSLAD projects. Eligible OSLAD projects include limited infrastructure costs by rule, while the PARC program is specifically designed to include support facilities and encourages infrastructure work.

For more information, details on program eligibility and other program regulations, visit http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/grants/ or contact the IDNR Division of Grant Administration, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271; phone 217-782-7481; e-mail grants@Illinois.gov.

[Text from Illinois Department of Natural Resources file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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