The Plainfield Park District is losing out on a $550,000 grant that would have helped fund a new recreation center at Renwick Community Park, according to Executive Director Garrett Peck.
The money was earmarked for the project — which was never officially approved by the park board — in 2009.
“It was in the early planning process,” park commissioner Mary Kay Ludemann said. “It was one of those ‘wish list’ items.”
Peck said he began hearing rumors last month that the funding had been re-appropriated.
On Sept. 9, the park district received a letter from Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora confirming it, he said.
In the letter, Holmes — whose 42nd District no longer includes Plainfield, thanks to redistricting — expresses regret, but notes that there are “higher priorities” for the money.
“The funding for the Capitol Quest project was initially appropriated in 2009. However, this project did not move in four years. Since that time, I no longer represent Plainfield in the General Assembly.
“Ultimately, there were higher priorities than the Capitol Quest funding at this particular time. As legislators, we face tough decision about how revenue will be distributed to state programs and have set priorities on how to best spend our limited resources.”
Peck said he is “alarmed” that Holmes has not disclosed how the money will now be used.
“Will it go back into the general fund or be earmarked to her new district in Aurora?,” he asked, calling the re-appropriation “a shame.”
“It is unfortunate that this grant was not able to be utilized in the past,” Peck said in an email to Patch. “It may have been able to provide a portion of the proposed infrastructure such as plumbing, electricity, a parking lot, etc. toward a recreation center that would have benefitted families and children in the greater Plainfield Area. Unfortunately, Senator Holmes has notified us that since the funding has not been utilized that it will no longer be available to the Plainfield Park District.”