Federal grant will help foster economic development
GILLESPIE, IL – Officials from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced a $160,000 Flexible Opportunity Grant for the city of Gillespie. The grant will be used to redevelop part of the downtown area, paving the way for greater economic growth in the area following a devastating storm last year.
The grant is a part of the federally-funded Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP), administered on the state level by DCEO, which assists Illinois communities with economic development, public infrastructure and housing rehabilitation projects.
“This grant will provide the city of Gillespie with critical funding to rebuild a central part of downtown, which will be key to the city’s future economic development efforts,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “Through the CDAP program, we’re strengthening the economic fiber of our state and creating much-needed jobs in our smaller communities.”
Earlier this year a severe windstorm critically damaged several commercial buildings in downtown Gillespie. The occupants of one of the condemned buildings, Ageless Fitness, will build a new facility on the site of a now-vacant Ready-Mix plant.
“When the storms hit Gillespie, it not only wreaked havoc physically to the buildings in the downtown area, but it also created economic chaos. Businesses had to close, local infrastructure was affected and residents have felt the economic hardships caused by this act of nature. Through the hard work of everyone involved, we are working to make Gillespie whole again,” State Senator Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville) said.
The city is partnering with the Macoupin County Economic Development Partnership and the owners of Ageless Fitness to implement a redevelopment plan for the overall business district.
Illinois’ CDAP program supports communities with populations of 50,000 or less, that are not located within a HUD-designated entitlement community or one of the eight large urban counties that receive Community Development Block Grant program funds directly from HUD.