More than $400K in grant money spurs 19 metro-east park projects

News-DemocratJune 25, 2013 

More than $418,000 in grant funding will spruce up 19 local parks in St. Clair County.

The St. Clair County Board awarded the grants during a meeting Monday. The St. Clair County Parks Grant Commission recommended the projects from 22 applications.

Funding for the grants stems from a one-tenth of 1 percent sales tax earmarked for improving local parks. The revenue is administered by the Metro East Park and Recreation District.

Half of the tax revenue collected in St. Clair County is used to fund projects in that county and the other half is collected by the district to fund larger park projects, according to the district's Executive Director Mike Buehlhorn.

Since 2002, the commission has recommended 215 park projects receive grant funding and more than $5.1 million has been awarded.

Maximum funding per project this year was $25,000.

The park projects include:

* $25,000 to upgrade a parking lot and repair a gazebo in Alorton,

* about $20,300 for improvements to the Jaycee Park in Belleville,

* about $23,200 for cooking grills and storage area in Brooklyn,

* about $24,700 for a video surveillance system at Cahokia Park,

* $25,000 for walkway lighting at George K. Price Community Park in East Carondelet,

* $25,000 to renovate the Jones Park Greenhouse in the East St. Louis Park District,

* $25,000 for security cameras in Fayetteville,

* nearly $15,600 for shade structures at the municipal pool in Freeburg,

* $25,000 to improve White Oak Park in Marissa,

* about $24,300 for a small children playground at Scheve Park in Mascoutah,

* nearly $17,400 for park security in Millstadt,

* more than $8,000 to improve park safety at Okaw Valley Park in New Athens,

* $25,000 for a treehouse playground at Rock Springs Park in O'Fallon,

* $25,000 to ensure St. Ellen Park in O'Fallon is handicap accessible,

* $10,000 to repair tennis courts at Loop Creek Park in St. Clair Township,

* $25,000 for improvements to the Wenneman Park Pavilion in St. Libory,

* $25,000 for improvements to Sierra Park in Shiloh,

* $25,000 for play equipment at the Smithton Park, and

* $24,700 for benches, picnic tables and a small shelter at Sugar Loaf Township Park.

Contact reporter Daniel Kelley at dkelley@bnd.com or 618-239-2501.

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