Village of Bluffs laying ground work for new park
If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By BETH ZUMWALT
The village of Bluffs will be upgrading their downtown park area after receiving a $600,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Bluffs was the only entity in Scott County to receive the grant which targeted economically distressed communities. The Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLA) grant program is 36 years old and this year’s disbursements are the largest in its history.
An economically distressed community, calculated using data from the Illinois Census and the Illinois Department of Revenue, considers an area’s poverty level and equalized assessed valuation (EAV). In FY 2023, as a result of the Department’s efforts, DNR awarded 25.5% of the OSLAD funding to distressed communities, up from 4.7% in FY 2022.
Milton in Pike County, the Village of Hardin in Calhoun and White Hall in Greene County all received the grant this year.
“We are excited,” Linda Sapp, village president, said. “We thought we’d hear in December if we got it. Then we heard it would be February, and we heard March 1.”
Sapp said the downtown park will be able to upgrade the electrical system, build a new stage area, build a small walking path, add handicap bathrooms and create a small play ground.
“Behind the library, we want to build a pickle ball court and an area for those who toss bags,” Sapp said. “We also want to build a sunscreen in front of the stage for people watching things on stage. The front part of the stage area is always in the sun. We are also hoping to make the stage into more of an amphitheater,” said Sapp.
Sapp said she had no idea when the projects would begin, saying the announcement was just made last week and no paper work has been signed yet.