Pritzker budget: $280 million in local investment

By Bob Pieper for Chronicle Media

East St. Louis’ House of Miles has plans for renovations to the former home of the late jazz trumpet legend Miles Davis. The proposed state of Illinois 2021 budget includes some funds for the project. (Photo courtesy of House of Miles)

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed Illinois state budget for fiscal year 2021 would allocate at least $280,221,967 for capital improvements Metro East

Funding would come from about 180 specific grants to 70 or more to political subdivisions and other entities, in Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties, according to a proposed budget, released Feb. 20.

Most of the funding would come through the governor’s Rebuilding Illinois program, though some would come from other sources such as the state’s Transport Bond Fund.

Both the governor’s office and critics of the spending plan say full implementation is dependent on approval in the November general election of an Illinois constitutional amendment to allow a graduated state income tax, as well as other factors.

Though the budget would fund many new projects, the budget would also provide continued funding for many existing projects.

Several of the largest projects covered in the proposed budget, such facility expansions at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the expansion of Metro Link light rail services to MidAmerica Airport, had already been publicly announced prior to last week’s budget announcement.

Some capital improvements projects are specified by name in the governor’s budget, most are listed simply as grants for “infrastructure improvement” and some are listed without additional description.

The exact amount funding allocated to Metro East’s three core counties under the budget is difficult to determine due to the use of “placeholder” numbers in the proposed budget to indicate costs, which may not yet be fully known.

In addition, statewide grants programs would not award grants until sometime in the budget year.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s (SIUE) planned new health sciences building is the largest Metro East capital improvement project covered the governor’s spending plan, coming in at $105,370,000

SIU Edwardsville would be far-and-away Metro East’s largest beneficiary of capital improvements allocation in the governor’s budget.

The university is also slated to get $3,528,932 for renovating and constructing a science laboratory; $125,000 For replacing windows and other capital improvements; $1 million for construction of a laboratory at the SIUE School of Dentistry; $270,000 for renovating the university’s chiller plant and other capital improvements, and $1,350,000 for “capital renewal.”

Under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed 2021 budget, Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey would receive $40,725,000 for capital projects, including the renovation of greenhouses. (Photo courtesy of LCCC)

Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC) in Godfrey would receive $40,725,000 for capital projects, including $875,000 for renovation of greenhouses; $1.7 million for the construction of an engineering annex; $1.65 million for construction of a daycare and Montessori School; and $37.5 million for general renovation and repairs at the college’s main complex.

Southwestern Illinois Community College near Belleville would receive $880,000 for site improvements at its central quad.                –           –

At $96 million, the planned extension of Metro Link from Scott Air Force Base to MidAmerica Airport is the biggest single, Metro East transportation project to be allocated funding under the proposed budget.

In all, about 70 Metro East cities and villages would be allocated capital improvements funding for local projects under the proposed budget, including: Alhambra, Alorton, Alton, Belleville, Bethalto, Brooklyn, Cahokia, Caseyville, Centreville, Dupo, East Alton, East Carondelet, East St. Louis, Fairview Heights, Fayetteville, Freeburg, Glen Carbon, Hamel, Highland, Granite City, Madison, Maeystown, Marissa, Maryville, Mascoutah, Millstadt, O’Fallon, Pontoon Beach, Sauget, Shiloh, Swansea, Roxana, Venice, Washington Park and Wood River.

In addition, the St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grant Department would be issued funding for allocation to local communities over the coming year.

With flooding a recurrent problem in many Metro East communities, the proposed state budget provides specific funding for several water- or sewer-related projects in the area.

Nameoki Township — scene of substantial flooding last year — would be allotted funding for replacement of pumps at its Courtney and Wabash pump stations, plus $25,000 for lift station repairs and Improvements.

The township would also be allotted at least one grant of $75,000 for general infrastructure improvements and up to four additional grants of $170,000 for unspecified projects.

The YMCA Niebur Center in Edwardsville is tabbed for $200,000 in state funds under the capital improvements portion of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed budget. (Photo courtesy of YMCA Niebur Center)

It would also be allotted $8,029 for heating and air-conditioning replacement at its senior center.

Granite City Township is budgeted $65,000 for bus garage additions and parking lot improvements.

Alton Township would be allotted $50,000 for general infrastructure grants, plus up to five grants of $75,000 for projects unspecified in the proposed budget.

Stites Township would be allocated $50,000 for general infrastructure improvements.

Venice Township would be allotted $100,000 for infrastructure improvements at Eagle Park.

Funding specifically for fire stations or equipment is budgeted for Mascoutah, Granite City, Fairmont City, the Fosterburg Fire Protection District, Holiday Shores Fire Department, French Village Fire Department, State Park Fire Department, and the Troy Fire Protection District.

Other entities slated for allocation under the proposed budget:

  • Alton Mental Health Center for “life/safety” and other capital Improvements — $3,033,757;
  • Challenge Unlimited in Alton — $250,000;
  • The Bethalto Boys and Girls Club — $200,000;
  • The YMCA Niebur Center in Edwardsville — $200,000;
  • The Cahokia Mounds Historic Site for replacement of audio-visual equipment, and other capital improvements — $160,000;
  • The Lewis & Clark Society of America, Inc., for Infrastructure Improvements at the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site in Hartford — $150,000;
  • The House of Miles Museum in East St. Louis for capital improvements — $187,500;
  • The Katherine Dunham Museum in East St. Louis for capital improvements — $187,500;
  • The Madison County Fair Association for capital improvements — $ 25,000;
  • The Alton YWCA for building improvements — $50,000;
  • East Side Health District in East St. Louis — $1 million.

Holten State Park in East St. Louis is specifically cited as eligible for $70,000 in statewide parks capital improvement funding, allocated under the proposed budget.

A complete listing of proposed capital improvement in the proposed state budget can be accessed at