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H-F Park District expecting to receive $400,000 grant on second try

This time, the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District may get its $400,000 from the State of Illinois.

“We’re excited at the prospect. We pretty much wrote that off,” Renae Ross, superintendent of finance and administration, said.

Park District Executive Director Debbie Kopas is filing the necessary paperwork to show the state how The Clubhouse at Dolphin Lake still fits into the grand scheme laid out in its original 2014 Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant application to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  

The $400,000 was approved and the project moved forward.  Then Illinois got a new governor. Shortly after being sworn in in January 2015, Gov. Bruce Rauner refused to release the funds because of the state’s fiscal condition.


H-F Park District had already demolished the site where the Dolphin Lake swimming pool and clubhouse building once stood and construction had started on the $3.25 million project at Governors Highway and 183rd Street.

Commissioners agreed to continue with the project, trimming some of the extras and making adjustments to cover a portion of the lost grant money from the park district’s capital projects budget district-wide.

In August the park district was notified the OSLAD grant money was being released, but the park district would need to justify its award because OSLAD is a matching grant. The park district’s documentation will show how the money was spent to conform to OSLAD requirements.

Ross said she is “very optimistic now that the state has given the go-ahead for the OSLAD grant, so we’re excited.”


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