03232021HAO0132SPRINGFIELD – To allow local governments to undertake grant projects when the time is best for their community, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) introduced a measure to give park districts more time to complete projects funded through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant program.

“As communities recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, local governments are getting back on track with their long-term project goals,” Murphy said. “Our park districts are best positioned to decide when it makes sense for their community to start taking on new projects again.”

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the OSLAD grant program, provides an advance payment of 50% of the grant value upon awarding the grant. State law requires grantees to complete projects within two years of receiving grant funds, meaning that park districts have just two years after this advance payment to complete projects.

The legislation Murphy has proposed would allow park districts to opt out of advance payments on OSLAD grants, delaying the start of the two-year grant timeline and giving them more authority over when to begin projects.

In addition to allowing park districts more freedom on future projects, Murphy’s initiative would also provide more flexibility on active grant projects by directing IDNR to consider requests by grant recipients to extend the deadline on the use of grant funds.

“Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic will take time. This legislation will ensure that park districts’ hard-earned grant funding will still be available when they’re ready to tackle new projects,” Murphy said.

Senate Bill 321 passed the Local Government Committee Tuesday and awaits consideration by the full Senate.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
307 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:
1645 South River Road, Suite 7

Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
(847) 718-1110