Park districts get state grant

Park districts get state grant

CHAMPAIGN — Both park districts in Champaign-Urbana will each be getting a $400,000 state grant after Gov. Pat Quinn this week announced more than $12 million in park assistance throughout Illinois.

In Champaign, that means park officials can complete the development of Sunset Ridge Park in the Boulder Ridge subdivision. In Urbana, it means residents will be able to enjoy another water feature coming to the Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center.

Without the grant, the completion of Sunset Ridge Park "would have been put off until future years," said Champaign Park District Executive Director Bobbie Herakovich.

That means the northwest Champaign park will get a skateboard area, soccer fields and goals, and a backstop for a baseball field. Officials will also regrade the area, which will provide a sledding hill during the winter months.

Phase one of the Sunset Ridge Park development was completed last year and included basketball and tennis courts, a playground and a pavilion.

With its $400,000 grant, the Urbana Park District will be able to add a "streambed" to the Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center. The streambed feature will look and feel like a real creek, and officials hope it will complement the surrounding Busey Woods and Anita Purves Nature Center.

The money is called the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant, and 42 park districts throughout the state received a collective $12,354,600.

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readone wrote on June 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

I thought the State of Illinois was in a budget deficit.  They are closing prisons, cutting payments to disabled services, cutting worker pensions and insurance coverage (not judges or legilators though) yet they still find $12 million to make grass grow in the city parks.  Unbeliveable.

Sid Saltfork wrote on June 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Yep; steal from the employees, and retirees to give out grants to get votes, and "campaign donations".  Cut needed programs for the children, disabled, elderly, working poor, and poor to find the money for buying votes, and "campaign donations".  Hard to get out of paying debts with the excuse that there is no money when money was provided for frills, and whims.  Although, I am sure that there are people who feel that it is the right thing to do.  Notice that none of the recipients rejected the money.  They even wrote grants for the money.  Well, party now because it cannot continue very long.  The fiddler has to be paid at some point in time.

EL YATIRI wrote on June 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm
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It sure does stink

thelowedown wrote on June 30, 2012 at 4:06 am


A structural deficit still exists, but just because certain areas  are taking hits does not mean some other area, with its own hits taken, should necessarily be totally annihilated. Parks raise local property values. The state has a grant program to fund local park projects. Simple as that. The hysteria of other people commenting here before me is galling, both for its asininity and pharisaicalness.

Sid Saltfork wrote on June 30, 2012 at 9:06 am

Wow....  "pharisaicalness".....  I sure feel told off.  Money comes from various sources to run the state government.  It is distributed to various programs, and debts.  Whether the state has a grant program, or not; the money is there for distribution.  When the State of Illinois repeatedly states that it is broke; vendors, and employees owed money do not get paid.  Programs get cut.  People who need services for their basic needs suffer.  Yet, you are "galled" because you want frills for parks to improve your property value.  You want yours; but you want it at the expense of others.  You call it "hysteria" when others complain.  Try telling a low income, elderly widower who no longer has assistance staying in their own home that the improvement to their park raises their property value.  What a joke.  Now, that old person has to go to a care facility.  They end up on Medicaid.  Their increased valued home has a lien on it by the state.  It has to be sold to cover their stay in the care facility until they are broke, and qualify for Medicaid which ends up costing us all more.  Where is your "shared pain"?  The grants should be abolished.  The money should be re-distributed to where the need exists.  Illinois is not going to get out of it's financial mess with continued spending on frills, and whims for votes, and "campaign donations".  There is a comment "before" you.   

thelowedown wrote on July 01, 2012 at 2:07 am

I'm not a property owner, but that doesn't mean you aren't hysterical. The state's Medicaid cuts are to state-provided programs that go beyond the role the federal government requires. If you didn't want them, lobby your elected officials for cuts elsewhere or new revenue streams. And in case you don't understand what higher property values bring, they  bring more tax revenue for local governments who then redirect such funds for schools, roads, and public safety. Now, your ignorance is galling.

Sid Saltfork wrote on July 02, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Well, I am a property owner.  I do pay property taxes.  Forget about lobbying elected officials.  They get more "campaign donations" from large groups than individuals.  I don't mind paying higher property taxes for schools, roads, and public safety.  I do mind grants going to build volleyball courts, water features for swimming pools, and other assorted whims.  Money for necessary services should come first.  It is basic Needs Versus Wants.  I am not "hysterical".  I am mad.  Mad about the spending priorities.  You throw out words like "hysterical", "ignorance", and "galling".  I see words referring to your attitude like "greed", "selfish", and "spoiled".  Your tag, "thelowdown", is self-descriptive in more ways than one.