Madison County planning to put $1.37 million PEP grants into communities

Madison County planning to put $1.37 million PEP grants into communities 

EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County will award $1.37 million in funding for various park and recreations projects throughout the county. 

The Grants Committee will vote Monday on the resolution authorizing $1,371,495 in Park Enhancement Program (PEP) grants.  The Parks and Recreation Grant Commission approved the grants on Friday and the County Board will take action on March 20.

The PEP grants range between $15,000 and $150,920 and include funds for projects such as a multi-use trail, memorial wall, playground equipment, senior center equipment, ADA compliant pavilions, pickleball courts, and more. The funding will be combined with city, village, township and park district funds to finance the projects.

Chairman Kurt Prenzler said the PEP program is successful thanks to the taxpayers. He said the 1/10th of one percent sales tax was approved by voters in 2000 under the Illinois Metro-East Park and Recreation District Act and is administered by Madison County’s Community Development Department.

“Since its establishment the funds have been used to improve parks and recreational facilities across the county,” Prenzler said.

In the program’s 19 years, area communities received more than $3 million. Municipalities and park and recreation districts can apply annually for a grant, which are instrumental in enabling communities to maintain and improve their respective parks and recreational facilities.

County Board member Jamie Goggin and chair of the Park and Recreation Grant Commission said the grants help fund so many fun projects.

“Anyone can go to their local park and point to something that was built with a grant from this program,” Goggin said. “They actually get to see something tangible that their tax dollars was spent on.”

County Board member Tom McRae of Bethalto and a member of the Grant Commission agreed. He said every community across the county benefits. 

“These are all the things that enhance the quality of life for residents in Madison County,” he said. “They effectively use the funding for projects that benefit everyone.”