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City looking for grant support

About 600 supporters of Riverfront project; city’s goal is 2,000

Published: Friday, July 19, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – Support still is not quite where it needs to be for the city to win a $10 million federal grant to further improve the Riverfront.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin’s office told Mayor Jim Burke that community support will be a key factor in determining whether Dixon is awarded the grant.

The city hoped to get 2,000 supporters by June 28, but has tallied about 600, or as a thermometer on the city’s website shows, about 35 percent of the goal.

Police Chief Danny Langloss, a special assistant to the City Council, said it is not too late for residents to go to www.discoverdixon.org and pledge their support.

He said the grant reviewers will go to the city’s website toward the end of the process.

“We thought if we could get over 2,000 signatures, that would weigh on the judges’ minds,” Langloss said. “It’s weighted heavily on community support and that could be a determining factor.”

City officials have a $12 million vision for the Riverfront, the highlights of which are a multiuse pedestrian bridge across the old Illinois Central railroad piers over the Rock River, reconstruction of East River Street from Galena Avenue to state Route 2, and the addition of just short of 3 miles of pedestrian paths.

Project developers have secured $2.3 million in local funds in public and private grants, meaning $9.74 million of the project will have to come from federal funds.

The city is one of about 568 communities applying for federal funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, or TIGER. The city has applied twice before and failed both times.

Officials expect to hear back before Labor Day on whether the city is awarded the money.

More information on the grant is available by going to the city website and clicking on the “TIGER” link on the upper-left hand portion of the page. That’s also where residents can pledge their support.

“It only takes a minute to do so,” Langloss said. “They don’t even have to give their address. We feel this is an important project for creating jobs, infrastructure and other areas for the town’s development.”

Durbin and U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Manteno, have crafted letters of support.

If Dixon were awarded the grant, the project would begin in October 2014.

To pledge your support

Go to www.discoverdixon.org and click on the tab at the upper-left portion of the page that says "TIGER Grant" for more information or to pledge support for the project.

You also can do so at City Hall, 121 W. Second St., or 815-288-1485.

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