CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Several towns in central Illinois were among those that were announced to be recipients of money from the Rebuild Illinois capital program to help revamp their downtown areas.

Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded 50 grants totaling $106 million on Monday. The state had originally allocated $50 million in funding in 2021, but due to the high quality of applications for funding and the number of projects eligible for COVID relief funds, funding for the program increased by $56 million. This increased funding will support an additional 29 community revitalization projects.

“I am thrilled to announce that we are doubling last year’s investment in our Downtowns and Main Streets Capital Grant program to include over 50 communities throughout Illinois to modernize downtowns, address long-awaited infrastructure needs, and boost local economies — in turn, bettering the quality of life for our state’s residents,” Pritzker said. “With that upgraded infrastructure comes economic opportunity: more jobs, more business growth, and more money pouring into the communities that need it most — and that’s what Rebuild Illinois is all about.”

Champaign and Rantoul each received $3 million, something State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) applauded.

“Downtown areas are special to their communities, whether it’s historic buildings, tasty restaurants, or a place for residents to hangout. With this grant, downtowns are able to become even more welcoming and vibrant,” Bennett said. “Not only are these regions adding additional value to their downtowns, they are also keeping historical aspects that have been around for decades. The Rebuild Illinois Program has been a great plan for many places in the state and has made projects, such as these in Champaign and Rantoul, possible.”

A list of central Illinois cities that received funding are listed below, along with how much they received and a brief summary of what the cities will use the grants for:

  • City of Arcola – $1,040,000 for downtown infrastructure improvements, including sanitary and stormwater sewers
  • City of Danville – $3,000,000 for the Walnut Street corridor reconstruction
  • City of Jacksonville – $2,975,161 for the South Main Street reconstruction, a continuation of the Downtown Turnaround Project
  • City of Mattoon – $525,000 for downtown lighting, parking and accessibility improvements
  • City of Taylorville – $3,000,000 for downtown square/business corridor streetscape and infrastructure improvements
  • Historic Champaign Holdings – $3,000,000 for multi-use redevelopment of historical downtown buildings
  • Village of Rantoul – $3,000,000 for the implementation of the Downtown Master Plan and overall downtown revitalization, including infrastructure improvements