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October 30, 2001

Ryan: $12.9 Million in Illinois FIRST Projects for DuPage County

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan announced today that he is releasing $12,965,000 in Illinois FIRST funding for projects in DuPage County, including $6,000,000 to Elmhurst College for upgrading the campus and its facilities.

The College plans to acquire property, expand surface and structure parking capacity, construct a new academic classroom building and create the Buhler Library quad. Private fund-raising efforts on behalf of the college will contribute $2 million.

Other Illinois FIRST grants announced by Ryan:

  • $3,200,000 to the Elmhurst Park District to redevelop the 60-acre Berens Park. The improvements include sports facilities, walking trails, playgrounds and construction of a recreation building. The park and all new amenities will be ADA compliant. The Park District will contribute $1,620,000.

  • $3,000,000 to the DuPage County Convalescent Center in Wheaton to complete building upgrades, including replacement of its fire alarm/smoke detection system.
    This Illinois FIRST project was initiated by Senate President Pate Philip, R-Wood Dale.

  • $500,000 to the DuPage County Forest Preserve District to construct a bike and pedestrian bridge over Bloomingdale and Roselle Roads that will connect existing bike trails in Meacham Grove Forest Preserve.
    This project was initiated by Philip.

  • $150,000 to the Village of Hinsdale to renovate and preserve the Hinsdale Theater for use as a performing arts center. The grantee will contribute $2 million from private donations.
    This project was initiated by State Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale.

  • $50,000 to Deicke Center for Visual Rehabilitation in Wheaton to purchase diagnostic equipment.
    This project was initiated by State Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Wheaton.

  • $30,000 to Schaumburg Township to purchase a new van for transporting at-risk youth to various township-sponsored events.
    This project was initiated by Philip.

  • $20,000 to the Berwyn Cicero Council on Aging to make roof repairs and install a new telephone system at its center. The Council will contribute $3,000.
    This project was initiated by State Rep. William O'Connor, R-Riverside.

  • $15,000 to the DuPage Easter Seals in Villa Park to purchase equipment and software used in its audiology and speech therapy and its physical therapy programs.
    This project was initiated by Hultgren.

Illinois FIRST funds are not part of the state budget's General Revenue Fund. Recently, lagging tax collections brought on by a slowdown in the national economy and the terrorist attacks of September 11 have forced the governor to order spending cuts in the General Revenue Fund that amount to less than 2 percent of total spending. Illinois FIRST monies are derived from separate accounts in the state budget -- the Road Fund and the Fund for Illinois Future -- as well as through the sale of state bonds.


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