The Sycamore Park District received word this week that it is one of IDOT’s 2018 Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant recipients. The District’s grant application was approved for the full amount requested, $1,698,980.
This grant will fund 75% of the engineering and construction cost for a .8 mile paved trail segment from the new Sycamore Forest Preserve to Page Street in Sycamore. The Sycamore Park District and DeKalb County Forest Preserve District have entered an intergovernmental agreement for shared planning, implementation and funding of the grant’s local match, $424,750. The total project cost is $2,123,730.
This is the second of three segments that when completed will connect Sycamore Forest Preserve (location of the current western end of the Great Western Trail) to the Brickville Road parking access to Sycamore Lake and Leon Larson Parks by following the old railroad right of way. The first segment, Sycamore Middle School to Brickville Road, was also funded by an IDOT grant to Sycamore Park District in 2016 with construction beginning on that portion this summer. The Park District will submit an application for the third segment, Page Street to Old Mill Park, during the next granting cycle in 2020.
Funding for this state program is provided by the federal Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) which focuses on establishing alternate transportation routes in communities throughout the country.
The Park District falls in District 3 of this granting program with like-sized agencies which include the City of Streator, Mazon, Kankakee and Marseilles. In this week’s awards, a total of $2,461,730 in grants were awarded to District 3 communities, and the Sycamore Park District received more than half of those dollars.
Sycamore Park District Board President, Ted Strack’s comment, “Another piece falls in place,” is twofold. The project fulfills the District’s commitment to providing safe alternate transportation and improving connectivity throughout the community and the procurement of the grant itself bring the District closer to fulfillment of ACTION 2020’s funding plan.
This trail project is part of the District’s $13 million long-range plan, ACTION 2020, funded by $9 million in tax support, a successful $1 million fundraising campaign and $3 million in grants. In all, ACTION 2020 will bring Sycamore a Community Center: Completed April 2018, Splashpad, Dog Park, Sled Hill, biking trail connections, a soccer complex and a new irrigation system at the Sycamore Park District Golf Club.