Kane County announces $1 million for grant recipients
Kane County officials normally squirrel away $1 million of the riverboat gambling proceeds it receives to dole out grants to local charities and government projects. But on Thursday, members of the committee who oversee those grants found they had nearly twice as much money to hand out, but not the desire to spend it all.
The county has $963,000 of unspent riverboat money from last year available to help local charities in addition to the $1 million in external money that just came in from the riverboat. If county officials wanted to, they could've spent every dime.
Officials received 58 requests totaling $2.4 million this year for the external grants. A subcommittee of those officials recommended fulfilling, or partially fulfilling, 47 of those requests at an amount of $1,084,000. That includes spending $80,000 of that $963,000 surplus from last year. The rest of the surplus will be saved for potential future use.
It's likely that surplus may be dipped into at a deeper level next year. The county received about $5.76 million total in riverboat money this year. That's down from $6.5 million last year, continuing several years of declining returns for the county. Kane County Finance Director Cheryl Pattelli said the amount will likely drop more steeply next year as the Grand Victoria will see a full year of competition from the new Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.
The full county board must still approve the final list of external grant recipients. The county uses the rest of the riverboat money to fund internal needs.
Top 10 riverboat fund external grant recipientsTop 10 riverboat fund external grant recipients
1. Kane County's Fit 4 Kids Program -- $100,000
2. Kane County Cooperative Extension Service -- $98,000
3. Village of Carpentersville -- $80,000 for a bicycle and pedestrian path
4. Marklund Charities (Geneva) -- $55,000 for flooring replacement
5. CASA Kane County -- $50,000 for programming in support of abused and neglected children in the juvenile system
6. Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry (Aurora) -- $50,000 for a building addition
7. Joseph Corporation (Aurora) -- $50,000 for replacement of sunken floor
8. Tri-City Family Services (Geneva) -- $50,000 for replacement of information management system
9. Northern Illinois Food Bank (Geneva) -- $40,000 for purchase of a refrigerated truck
10. Hesed House (Aurora) -- $40,000 for bathroom renovations
SOURCE: Kane County