DIXON – The Dixon Park District is one of six Illinois entities that were awarded a total of $715,200 for boat access improvements.
Dixon’s grant, for $18,375, will extend the boat dock at Page Park to improve access to the Rock River during times of low water, according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Park District Executive Director Deb Carey said the engineering plans have already been completed and the project is ready to be bid.
“Needless to say, we’re very grateful to the IDNR,” she said. “It may not seem like a lot of money, but it is a lot for the park district.”
The up-river ramp, which will get the extension, has been closed for 3 years, Carey said, and now might be open by summer.
All the park district’s boat ramps were originally paid for through IDNR grants, she said, so the park district doesn’t charge residents to use them.
According to the IDNR release:
The state received $1.2 million worth of grant requests. The grants will pay for 100 percent of the approved project construction costs and up to 90 percent of approved land acquisition costs.
The state accepts grant applications for Boat Access Area Development program between July 1 and Sept. 1 each year. The grants are paid for with funds from marine motor fuel tax and boat and canoe registration fees.
Dixon received the smallest amount of grant money.
Other communities receiving grants are Machesney Park in Winnebago County ($200,000), Evanston ($200,000), Oglesby in LaSalle County ($152,225), Galena ($80,000) and Freeport ($64,600), according to the release.
Lowell Park roads, trails closed
Lowell Park's roads will remain closed to vehicles until snow and ice melt and the surfaces firm, according to a Dixon Park District news release.
Residents will be able to park vehicles at Ruth Edwards Nature Center, 2114 Lowell Park Road, and walk into the park from there.
During this time, bicyclists will have access to the Lowell Park roads usually used by vehicles, but the bicycle trails within the park will be closed.