ParkSPRINGFIELD – Local park districts now have more time to complete projects funded through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program, thanks to a law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“When it comes to infrastructure projects, planning is best left in the hands of local governments,” said Murphy. “Especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that we allow park districts to set practical timelines for themselves.”

Previously, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the OSLAD grant program, provided an advance payment of 50% of the grant up front. State law requires grantees to complete projects within two years of receiving grant funds, meaning that park districts had just two years after this advance payment to complete projects.

This new law allows 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 also provides more flexibility on active grant projects by directing IDNR to consider recipients’ requests to extend deadlines.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on a number of local development plans, but I’m excited to see our park districts take on more projects as they bounce back,” Murphy said. “This new law gives our communities the flexibility they need to grow at their own pace.”

The law, originally House Bill 1760, goes into effect immediately.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:
880 Lee St. Suite 100
Des Plaines, IL 60016

 (847) 718-1110