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Dixon’s wish not granted

City fails to win $10 million for Riverfront development

Published: Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST

DIXON – The recipients of this year’s federal TIGER grants were released Thursday, and to Dixon’s disappointment, it is not $10 million richer.

The city had hoped to win the grant for Riverfront improvements.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin’s office told Mayor Jim Burke that community support would be a key factor in determining whether Dixon would receive the grant.

The city hoped to get 2,000 online supporters by June 28, but tallied only about 1,000, according to a thermometer on its website, www.discoverdixon.org.

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 outcome does not come as a surprise: The city was one of about 568 communities applying for federal funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, or TIGER. It has applied twice before and failed both times.

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