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Kane board nears OK of $1.18 million for nonprofits

Grant aid comes from Elgin riverboat money

Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

GENEVA – More than $1.18 million in grants from the county’s riverboat fund soon could be on its way to more than 40 local community service organizations after a Kane County Board committee gave it a nod. 

Wednesday, the Kane County Board Finance Committee unanimously recommended the full County Board approve the funding requests to be paid out of money received by the county from Elgin’s Grand Victoria Casino.

The annual grants, which range from $5,000 to $98,000, will be used to help fund a number of projects run by the various organizations.

Some grants, for instance, would be used to develop local food pantries, improve Fox River water quality, repair homeless shelters, create a visitors center in downtown Geneva, expand an arts studio in Batavia, expand and improve technology at a cancer resource center in Geneva and help a local Salvation Army post buy new vehicles to transport food.

All grants were selected for funding by the County Board’s Riverboat Committee after an examination of written requests submitted by the organizations.

The money to be awarded comes from funds the county collects from the Grand Victoria under the terms of a longstanding agreement.

The County Board also approved spending $3.57 million of this year’s collections from the Grand Victoria on various programs run by the county government.

The amount received annually by the county is tied to the Grand Victoria’s revenue. That amount has fallen through the years from as much as $12 million more than a decade ago to $4.4 million this year.

To maintain funding levels for external grants around $1 million, as they had been in years past, the County Board would need to dip into about $10 million in the riverboat fund that had accumulated through the years.

The Finance Committee only briefly discussed the external grants before recommending approval. The measure could go to the full County Board during its meeting in July.

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