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Gov. Pritzker Announces $721,500 in Boat Access Area Grants

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor JB Pritzker Thursday announced 2021 Boat Access Area Development grants totaling $721,500 have been awarded to five communities. 

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Natural Resources Advisory Board reviewed grant requests totaling more than $1.4 million and recommended awarding funding for the projects.

“As we look towards spring with warmer weather ahead, I’m proud that these Boat Access Area grants will help local communities improve public boat and canoe access areas on Illinois’ lakes and rivers,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “These critical investments will help residents and visitors alike explore everything that Illinois has to offer.”

The Boat Access Area Development Program provides financial assistance to local government agencies for the acquisition, construction, and expansion or rehabilitation of public boat and canoe access areas on Illinois’ lakes and rivers. The program provides up to 100 percent of approved project construction costs and 90 percent of approved land acquisition costs. There is a limit of $200,000 per project per year.

“I’m excited that the Rockford Park District will be receiving this grant allocation from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This money will be used not only to revitalize our riverfront-but also increase the footprint of Rockford’s downtown – which helps our small businesses in the area,” said Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford).

Revenue for this program is derived from marine motor fuel tax and boat and canoe registration fees.  Download the Boat Access Area Development Program Manual at this link
https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/AEG/Pages/BoatAccessAreaDevelopmentProgram.aspx.

A list of this year’s Boat Access Area Development grants and project information is below:

FY21 Boat Access Area Develop Projects

City of Carbondale – Cedar Lake Boat Launch (Jackson County)
This project will receive $120,000 to construct a new accessible floating dock on the north side of the existing boat launch; install a small removable floating dock for canoe and kayak use; remove the current restroom facilities and install new accessible facilities at the parking lot level.  The project will also construct a picnic pavilion to serve as a location for weigh-ins during fishing tournaments.

City of Chester – Water Street Boat Launch Improvements (Randolph County)
The project will receive $197,200 for the addition of a concrete parking lot to the existing Water Street public boat launch accommodating eight parking spaces.

City of Golconda – Golconda Boat Ramp Development (Pope County)
This project will receive $142,100 to redevelop an existing boat launch area, including upgrades that will help attract local and out-of-town boaters.  The improvements will include an extension of the boat launch area, parking areas, a second concrete ramp, a wheelchair ramp with accessible dock, a fishing pier/floating dock, new lighting, erosion control, new picnic area, and landscaping.  The development will improve ease-of- access for boat traffic and will also allow ample parking spaces for kayak, canoe, and non-towing traffic.  In addition, the new floating dock an improved area for fishing.

Rockford Park District – Mercyhealth Sportscore One Boating Area Development (Winnebago County)
This project will receive $200,000 for the repaving and restriping of the parking lot and boat stalls; install light poles and LED fixtures for the parking area, and painting of the restroom building interior and exterior.  The project will also install a new water supply pressure tank, vanities, accessible drinking fountain, and LED lights for the restrooms.

Sterling Park District – Oppold Marina ADA Boat Accessibility (Whiteside County)
This project will receive $62,200 to install two new accessible parking stalls; remove the existing sidewalk and improved pavement; install new concrete paths from the accessible parking areas to the sidewalk that connects to boat dock; install block retaining wall; and, install a new 40′ x 5′ ADA boat dock and a 10′ x 5′ boat slip.