Carlinville City Council moves forward with ITEP grant

Carlinville City Council moves forward with ITEP grant

By Rick Wade
Based upon information received from Scott Rakers of HMG Engineers, the Carlinville City Council unanimously voted Aug. 5 to move forward with an application for a 2013 Illinois Department of Transportation Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) grant for sidewalk replacement and pedestrian lighting installation on the downtown Carlinville Square.
According to an e-mail from Rakers to Mayor Deanna Demuzio, ITEP no longer funds streetscape projects only; to be eligible for a grant, a project must be done in conjunction with a federal aid highway improvement. The council had applied for the streetscape grant in 2012 but was not selected.

Background
The city’s ITEP grant application had been a bone of contention since 2011 between the council and local groups that favored a more aggressive grant application, recommending the city ask for funding for a much larger, more extensive downtown makeover.

Plan A was an estimated $718,665 project that included brick pavers, planter boxes, ornamental lighting and light controllers. The projected 20 percent cost to Carlinville was $143,733, with the grant providing $574,932.

Plan B included new sidewalks and underground conduit plus design and construction engineering for $456,090. Of that amount, the city expected 80 percent of the funding, $364,872, to come from the ITEP grant, with the city’s share amounting to $91,218.DSC_2157

After the council applied for a scaled-back grant application, a local citizen, Carlinville resident Dan Millard offered to give the city $50,000 to make up the difference between the city’s share for Plan A and Plan B.

During a July 16, 2012, City Council meeting, now former Mayor Bob Schwab said the then-anonymous donor had offered an additional $50,000 that could be used to pay for amenities not included in Plan A. The council in August 2012 voted to amend the grant application to reflect Millard’s offer.

New information
“I just learned today that another category within ITEP allows funding for new or reconstructed sidewalks, as long as they meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements,” and other ITEP requirements, wrote Rakers. “If the city is interested, we could assist you in submitting a 2013 ITEP application.”

To read more of this story, see our e-edition.