$2 million grant could help bring people to Carbondale

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KBSI) – Many government funded grants have been given to Illinois cities for economic growth after many businesses struggled to keep their doors open after COVID-19.

On Monday, August 15, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a new $106 million grant which will “rebuild Illinois downtown and main streets.”

“And with upgraded infrastructure comes economic opportunity. More jobs, more business growth, and more money pouring into the communities where it can do the most good,” said Gov. Pritzker.

The City of Carbondale was given a $2.05 million grant to help build an entertainment center on Washington Street.

The grant was given through the state. The purpose of the grant is to respond to economic harm from COVID-19 and rebuild southern Illinois cities.

“So, for us we got a $2 million grant to construct an entertainment and Event Plaza. Phase one allows us to construct a stage,” explained Cody Lueker, the economic development coordinator for Carbondale.

The entertainment and event plaza will allow for a variety of performers from musical artists to community events.

The construction start date is still unknown, according to Lueker, and the designs are not yet finished but are in preliminary stages. Phase One is expected to be finished in roughly 20 months.

Lueker also explains that this new plaza will grow the economic development for the city.

“So, by having these events we hope to attract thousands of people to our town, to our downtown corridor and hopefully have this business come from that,” continued Lueker.

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