FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CARBONDALE – On June 28, 2022, Carbondale City Council, following the recommendations of a consultant and city staff, approved 12 ARPA funding applications totaling $2,098,464.
Each application was ranked and scored with consideration to several categories which included cost-effectiveness; diversity, equity, and inclusion; qualified census tracts; private business support; community support; long-term benefit; alignment with Council's goals; risk of non-compliance; alignment with SLFRF final rules; non-profit status; and city preference.
Following an extensive review, Council approved the following (12) applications for funding:
Southern Illinois Collaborative Kitchen - $84,400: This applicant addresses food insecurity by partnering with local restaurants and producers to employ a pay-as-you-go model for people in need to receive meals. This funding will add 100 weekly meals to the community and will also subsidize a part-time coordinator to be a liaison between residents, organizations, and the kitchen. The funding will provide support through 2023.
Attucks Community Services Board - $189,611: This applicant is proposing to expand services to include a youth training and employment program. In addition to employment, youth ages 16-24 will be provided mentorship and support with restorative justice and conflict resolution. The applicant intends to partner with other groups to include Gift of Love Charity, Dentmon Center, and the Black Chamber of Commerce. This is a 3-year program.
I Can Read of Southern Illinois - $143,150: This applicant is proposing to train and then employ part-time tutors to work with kids that participate in the program. Throughout its history, this organization has been mostly volunteer-led which has become increasingly difficult to find qualified tutors. Employing part-time tutors will make the program more sustainable. In addition to payroll costs, this funding will be used to purchase new laptop computers and software for the kids' workstations. This is a 2.5-year program.
Carbondale Public Library - $54,378: The Library has employed social work interns for several years to assist residents in need. Currently, the Library's social work interns receive approximately 30 requests for services per month. Employing a full-time social worker at this location will improve service levels and will also complement work currently being performed by the Police Department's mental health advocate. This funding will provide 12 months of salary cost.
Carbondale Warming Center - $250,000: The Carbondale Warming Center (CWC) began operating out of City-owned property in 2019. During the pandemic, its services have been greatly expanded to include 24-hour operations. The pandemic has heightened the need for emergency housing assistance and ancillary support that CWC has provided including food, clothing, job resources, and mental health support. The CWC original request was $650,000 of which $400,000 was for a kitchen to be installed at the current location. AMS and Staff have reduced the amount to $250,000 which will provide operational support for one year.
Green Earth, Inc. - $104,400: Green Earth owns and maintains six nature preserves in Carbondale that are open to the public and that have seen an increase in usage during the pandemic. Green Earth's original request was for $326,270 which would improve one existing trail (Pyles Fork Preserve (PFP) - Attucks) while building two new trails (Pyles Fork Preserve East and North). AMS and Staff reduced the scope of the request to include funding to improve PFP-Attucks. Improvements will include constructing ADA-friendly trail aggregate surface, replacing the existing wooden footbridge, and adding boardwalks to elevate the trail surface in areas where water ponds. This trail is existing with access at the east end of Attucks Park.
Carbondale Junior Sports - $94,200: Carbondale Junior Sports (CJS) has traditionally operated annual baseball, softball, T-ball, and flag and tackle football programs for Carbondale youth. In 2021, CJS was asked by Carbondale Soccer to take over youth soccer, which they did. The inaugural program included over 200 kids aged pre-k to 14. At the end of November, the City will take over management of the Superblock property and will be involved with youth sports programming. Providing additional funding to CJS who have a proven track record of implementing programs will ensure the continuation of these programs.
Autism Society of Southern Illinois/Kiwanis- $150,000: This group raised funds in 2019 to install the first phase of playground equipment at Turley Park that is universally accessible to residents. This request will provide funding to complete the purchase and installation of equipment for a second phase at the Turley playground and will also add a poured-in-place surface that will greatly reduce annual maintenance requirements for the City.
WDBX - $10,000: WDBX community radio station operates an all-volunteer station which includes a weekly spot for the City's Public Relations Officer. This request will provide funds to replace their current transmitter which will enhance the quality and reach of the current signal. The new transmitter is much more energy-efficient and will use 25% of the energy that the current transmitter uses. The energy cost savings will improve the sustainability of the station.
Boys and Girls Club of Southern Illinois - $518,000: Boys and Girls Club (BGCSI) needs to expand their facility and are in the process of identifying future locations. One potential spot is in the space directly south of their current location which currently houses a three-story masonry building that was part of the original high school. The existing building has been vacant for some time and has fallen into a state of disrepair that warrants demolition of the property. BGCSI are requesting these funds to assist with demolition and site clearing costs so they can expand to this property. If awarded funding, the City Council should make the award contingent on BGCSI taking possession of the blighted property in question.
RBF Dome - $155,600: In 1960, R. Buckminster Fuller erected the only geodesic dome that he actually lived in at 417 S. Forest Street. Over the past 20 years, the structure has been restored to its original state with the hope that it will serve as a museum and tourist attraction. The original request was in the amount of $251,840 which included costs to purchase and demolish an adjacent property, to construct a new visitor's center, and to develop an adjacent park to complement the museum. The funding amount recommended includes costs to demolish the property at 811 W. Cherry and to erect a small visitor center on the property and provides funding to staff a half-time museum director to market the facility and to be open for tours.
Stress and Trauma Treatment Center - $344,725: The Stress and Trauma Treatment Center (STTC) provides services to the most vulnerable members of our community to help them heal from adversity, traumatic stress, and childhood trauma. STTC currently employs a youth advocate that works out of the Carbondale Police Department. The funds requested will allow STTC to identify birth to five year old children and their families so they can receive programming and services. The funds will cover payroll expenses for a coordinator, mental health and substance abuse therapist, and vocational trainer for a 2-year period. These services will complement the work already being done by the Police Department's mental health advocate, youth advocate, and juvenile detective.
The consultant will work with each successful grant applicant to ensure the necessary community grant agreement is completed.
“Carbondale prides itself on providing its visitors, students, businesses and residents with a unique mix of edge and ease. It’s a cultural town, yet free of pretense, embracing the great outdoors as readily as urban sophistication. Here, we are open to new ideas, experiences and cultures, so you are encouraged to both express yourself and be yourself, in all ways. That’s Carbondale…All Ways Open… for family, fun, business, new ideas and a bright tomorrow.”