More Schneider Community Projects Included in First Round of Funding Process
WASHINGTON – Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) today announced that six additional Community Project Funding (CPF) submissions from Illinois’s 10th District were included in two House Appropriations Committee Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 funding bills—the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations legislation and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations legislation. These funding bills will create local jobs, bolster public health, improve transportation accessibility and help rebuild our communities’, and our nation’s infrastructure.
The FY22 LHHS legislation, if passed by the House and Senate, would include funding for the Lake County Health Department Behavioral Center Addition and the College of Lake County (CLC) Workforce Development Project. The THUD legislation includes funding for the Wolf Road (North) Sidewalk Project, the Waukegan Carnegie Library Revitalization Project, the Northern Illinois Food Bank – New Food Distribution Center, and the Park Street Closure and Enhancement Project.
“These six projects are critically important community investments that will create jobs in the Tenth District, make our communities healthier and help rebuild local infrastructure to meet community need. I am grateful that the House Appropriations Committee included these local projects for consideration in their upcoming funding legislation. I will continue to work to advocate for each of these projects as the legislation moves through Congress,” said Schneider.
Below are project descriptions and quotes of support from local community leaders.
Project Name: Lake County Health Department Behavioral Center Addition
Project Description: This project would double existing behavioral health services capacity at the Lake County Health Department Libertyville Mental Health Center by expanding the physical space housing primary care, psychiatry, and counseling for individuals with mental illness. The space would provide substance use counseling, Medication Assisted Treatment for substance use disorders, and counseling and case management to children and youth.
“With increasing numbers of suicides, overdoses and people in financial hardships, Lake County and my district would benefit from having more behavioral health services available in this area. The Community Mental Health Center located in Libertyville already provides much needed therapy, case management, primary care and psychiatric care to a vulnerable population, and adding physical capacity to the site would increase access to more services such as these,” said Lake County Board Member Jennifer Clark.
“The addition would allow the Department to offer more crucially needed behavioral health services at this location. As a result, the region would greatly benefit from having more behavioral health services available to underserved populations including the uninsured and those on Medicaid, who often struggle to find adequate access to quality behavioral healthcare,” said Ernest Vasseur, Executive Director of the Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County.
“The county would greatly benefit from having more behavioral health services available to underserved populations including the uninsured and those on Medicaid, who often struggle to find adequate access to quality behavioral healthcare. As the only Level I Trauma Center in Lake County, we continue to see increasing numbers of patients with mental health and substance use disorders coming into our emergency room. The county and the Libertyville area would benefit from having more behavioral health services available for those community residents,” said Matthew Primack, President of Advocate Condell Medical Center and Advocate Aurora Health.
Project Name: College of Lake County Workforce Development Project
Project Description: Funding for this project would help close the county-wide skills gap by enabling the College of Lake County (CLC) to train and connect workers, including unemployed and underemployed individuals, with in-demand manufacturing jobs in the Tenth District. This funding would also provide local manufacturing businesses with a highly trained pool of local applicants, a pipeline to filling open positions, and a mechanism to train the local workforce in companies’ most needed skills.
“The new College of Lake County Advanced Technology Center also is a concrete investment in this region’s expansion of a talent pipeline that will directly support the growth of area manufacturers and this initiative. This critical workforce development plan addresses dire needs in Lake County, and I hope that federal support is provided which will in turn pay dividends through local economic development gains,” said Dr. Andrew Warrington, the President of the United Conveyor Corporation and the Chair of the Lake County Workforce Development Board.
“The goals and outcomes associated with this proposal will strengthen the manufacturing talent pipeline and establish a Manufacturing Alliance to ensure that vibrant and engaged industry partnerships are established and grown across Lake County. The appropriation would greatly assist in providing the necessary federal investment to propel growth across this critical industry sector in Lake County where data shows there is a dire need,” said Jennifer Serino, the Director of the Lake County Workforce Development Board.
“Lake County Partners enthusiastically supports the College of Lake County’s request for funding under the federal Community Projects appropriation program. As a key member of the Lake County Workforce Ecosystem (known as the Ecosystem) and a key partner in the development of this request, I am confident that the initiative will increase the economic vitality of District 10 and all of Lake County by leveraging the resources of a coalition of partners and committing to a shared approach that will address workforce shortages and increase economic development,” said Lake County Partners President Kevin Considine.
Project Name: Wolf Road Sidewalk (North)
Project Description: Funding for this project would be used to complete a pedestrian sidewalk to provide a safe pedestrian thoroughfare, in particular for nearby 6,000 residents of multifamily housing units. Currently the road has a drainage ditch running parallel to the roadway, forcing pedestrians to walk along the shoulder next to 40mph traffic. Adding a sidewalk would ensure the 2,200 households would have safe walking access to nearby public transportation, local businesses, and institutions like Harper College.
“The road was developed at a time when pedestrian connectivity was not considered and Metra service was not yet extended. The roadway has large drainage swales and pedestrians avoid the area, or walk within the roadway. As this area presently does not have sidewalks, and the right-of-way encompasses a large drainage ditch, this sidewalk extension will provide safety for pedestrians, connectivity to Harper College and neighboring apartment and condominium developments, neighborhood businesses, and the Pace bus stop. This proposed improvement will provide sidewalk connectivity to Harper College and Pace Route 221 to the less-advantaged east side neighborhood,” said Prospect Heights Mayor Nicholas Helmer.
“Footpath accessibility is a material barrier to more local residents benefitting from Harper and community partner resources here on site. A Community Project Funding investment in this project will directly translate to access to training, to family supports, and to jobs. Many disadvantaged families start from a point of unreliable access to cars. Today, pedestrian access to and from LCC, the Pace Bus stop, and the surrounding community is made very difficult with the lack of sidewalk access in the area. We have seen parents walk with children, sometimes in strollers, along the narrowest strip of roadside so that the kids can get free on‐site babysitting (provided by the local school district) while Mom or Dad learns English or completes a GED. These free courses are the stepping stone to the next‐level career certificates we offer, ultimately allowing our community members to leave survival‐ wage jobs and see their families prosper,” said Jennifer Brennan, Supervisor at Harper College Learning and Career Center.
Waukegan Carnegie Library Revitalization Project
Project Description: Funding for this economic development project will revitalize an underserved community by providing new community and event space, offering cultural enrichment, and supporting nearby local businesses through rehabilitation of a central building in downtown Waukegan, the Carnegie Library. An independent analysis conducted by Visit Lake County assessed the overall local economic impact of the project to be $5.3 million in growth in the first five years.
“According to the Illinois Office of Tourism’s (IOT) most recent study conducted by D.K. Shifflet, in 2018 cultural attractions, including museums and historical sites, account for 34% of leisure travel activities, the fourth top activity in destinations. IOT’s research indicates that visitors to museums generate a $689 per travel party contributing substantially to the local economy. The estimated overall economic impact of the Carnegie Museum for the first five years is $5.3 million,” said Maureen Riedy, President of Visit Lake County.
“This building has meant so much throughout the history of our great city. To see the historic structure active again, in a new and profound way would mean so much to our community. This building will be a large part of Waukegan becoming a destination city,” said Waukegan Township Supervisor Marc Jones.
“Renovating the historic Carnegie Library into a history museum is such an exciting project but not without its challenges. Thank you Congressman Schneider for working with us on obtaining additional funding for this project. It couldn’t be done without great partnerships, funding and supporters. On behalf of the Waukegan Park District, I would like to thank Congressman Schneider for all his support and efforts in helping see the Carnegie Museum Project to completion. The positive impact and economic impact of this project will be felt for generations to come in our community,” said Jay Lerner, Executive Director of the Waukegan Parks Department.
Project Name: Northern Illinois Food Bank – New Food Distribution Center
Project Description: Funding for this project would help the Northern Illinois Food Bank more than double the amount of space for a new food distribution center. The new facility would enable the Food Bank to increase their capacity for volunteer engagement, food processing and distribution, and safe cold, frozen and dry food storage, which will better serve the surrounding communities and help address hunger in the Tenth District.
“We share the organization’s conviction that a larger, higher capacity center in Lake County will help bring forth their vision for everyone in Northern Illinois to have the food they need to thrive. The larger, higher capacity center would allow the Food Bank to store more food, provide constituents with greater access to the food they need, and create jobs in our community,” said State Senator Adriane Johnson.
“North Chicago Community Partners and other food assistance member agencies in LAke County would benefit from the project as well. With an expansion, we would be able to pick up more food with additional options, use available space to host or attend trainings, and have a rapid turnaround for placing order and getting the resources in the hands of our families,” said Kelly Gallego, Executive Program Director of North Chicago Community Partners.
“We are impressed by the Food Bank’s dedication to their mission and ability over the past year to increase meal output significantly to serve the elevated need. We fully expect that they have the leadership capacity to accomplish this project...We understand their desire to evolve the Food Bank’s work toward models that satisfy neighbors needs and wants during times of food insecurity. A larger, higher capacity center in Lake County will help bring forth their vision for everyone in Northern Illinois to have the food they need to thrive,” said Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit.
Project Name: Park Street Closure and Enhancement Project
Project Description: Funding for this project will help the Village of Mundelein enhance the Park Street Closure, a multi-purpose and outdoor public space to connect residents and support local businesses. This project would promote economic development in an underserved and historically challenged downtown area while at the same time serving the community, including nearby low-income residents.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all Mundelein residents, we are grateful that Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) has submitted Mundelein’s Park Street Enhancement Project for funding consideration as part of his Community Project Funding Requests to the House Appropriations Committee. Revitalizing Mundelein’s Downtown has been a decades-long initiative. We have taken many strategic steps to deindustrialize the downtown and create a residential environment where residents can live, and businesses thrive. The Park Street Enhancement Project is the next step in this process. We believe this new area, once complete, will be a community gathering spot that will increase residential density and in turn, attract additional economic development. We thank Congressman Schneider for this opportunity,” said Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz.
“I think this is a wonderful idea to make this a permanent offering for our community each year. I have lived in Mundelein for almost 7 years now and when we think where to go out, our own community never pops into mind first. I would love to be able to go into the town to do local dining and have the kids have fun as well. I would like to see this Mundelein area turn into what downtown Libertyville has become over the last decade,” said Mundelein resident Alicia Valestin.
“This would be a most advantageous plan, and a huge boon to the community, and the restaurants/ stores specifically located in this area. It would allow them to landscape and make additional aesthetic improvements to make this space more inviting and attractive to prospective customers. I expect it would also make for greater interest for the spaces still pending in the old Abernathy building, and make for a nicer location for the seasonal Farmers Market traffic. Our local businesses desperately need our support, and that of our local government. This would be a good assist for them,” said Mundelein resident Wendy McMurray.