More than 20 communities in the metro-east will receive more than $460,000 in grants from the St. Clair County Parks Grant Commission. The St. Clair County Board approved the commission's recommendations during its meeting Monday.
The following communities will receive $25,000 grants for park projects: Alorton, Belleville, Centreville, East St. Louis, Fairview Heights, Fayetteville, Freeburg, Marissa, O'Fallon, Shiloh, Smithton, St. Libory and Sugar Loaf Township. New Athens was awarded a $23,000 grant, and Swansea a $22,000 grant.
The remaining communities of Dupo, Lebanon, Mascoutah, Millstadt, St. Clair Township and Summerfield will receive between $14,000 and $18,000 for their various park projects.
Since January 2002, the Parks Grant Commission has awarded $4.7 million in grants.
Grant Commission Chairman Herbert Simmons said the commission is committed to continuing to provide opportunities to improve parks in St. Clair County.
In other business, the County Board approved issuing revenue refunding bonds in the amount of $10 million for McKendree University in Lebanon.
County Board Chairman Mark Kern said the new bonds will refinance the $19 million bond issue the county did for the university in 2005.
In addition, the county issued $11.7 million for McKendree in 1999.
"This is our third time issuing these bonds on their behalf," Kern said. "There's no liability for the county, and our credit is not involved."
The board also passed a resolution in support of the U.S. 50 "Lebanon Bypass" -- a realignment of U.S. 50 that would connect Illinois 4 just southeast of Lebanon and the existing U.S. 50 near Summerfield.
A letter submitted from the city of Lebanon to the county states Lebanon residents support the proposed bypass as it would increase the safety of school children, decrease traffic congestion and increase economic development opportunity.
There's no time frame from the Illinois Department of Transportation on when this project will come to fruition. Kern said it's his understanding the funding for the project is not in place yet.
The spay and neuter clinic held in Belleville last month was "very successful," according to Kern, with 250 people attending. "We look forward to doing it twice a year starting next year," he said.
The clinic was a joint effort between St. Clair County Animal Services and the Belleville Animal Clinic.
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or email@example.com.