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Local

Dixon gets grant extension for riverfront parking

DIXON – The city has won a grant extension to build more parking on the riverfront, and is planning to do the project in the next year or so.

About 5 years ago, the city was awarded a Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant to add parking off of Peoria Avenue across the street from where Heritage Crossing ends, but those funds were frozen during the budget impasse.

The appropriation in fiscal year 2014 was $300,000, but that shrank to $150,000 once the grant thawed out.

Officials didn’t have enough time to pull the project together last year, so they had to go through an extension process with the state so they wouldn’t lose it, Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said.

The project specifics, such as the number of parking spaces, are yet to be determined, but it ties in with plans to extend the bike path and to prepare properties for riverfront development through the city’s Viaduct Point project.

Viaduct Point is a partnership between the city and the Lee County Industrial Development Association to buy or line up about 10 acres of property stretching from the Peoria Avenue Bridge to the viaducts, and in October 2016, the city received a $2 million state grant to extend the bike path both east and west along the riverfront.

“No matter what happens down there, we know we’re going to need more parking,” Arellano said.

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