Grant Money

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

Dozens of Stateline organizations come together to issue a plea for Gov. Rod Blagojevich. They say they desperately need grant money tied up in Springfield.

Local legislators say they worked hard to bring more than $4 million in grant funding to the Rock River Valley, but months have passed and many organizations like Ralph Hawthorne's violence prevention group still haven't seen the money.

"With the economy the way it is our contributions are down tremendously at this time. And so it could make a huge impact on us," says Hawthorne.

The governor's office tells Hawthorne and others the money hasn't been released and they're not sure when it will be.

"If these monies are not released soon, some of you may lose your matching grant money, others will lose the entire construction season and others will see an increased cost as projects are delayed into next year," says Sen. Dave Syverson.

This playground will be torn down if the grant money isn't released to build a new one, which means come this fall these kids will have nowhere to play.

Parents say the grant money would replace the aging dangerous, playground. But now the issue is up in the air.

"This play ground will be torn down. Right now we spend more time fixing the kids here than letting them play," says Jean Olivencia, a Beyer School parent.

With the states budget troubles, who knows how long these kids will have to wait.

Syverson says during his ten plus years as a state lawmaker, grant funding has always been released after the completion of the application and approval process. He says some local groups have been waiting more than six months for their grant money.


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