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Funding Fun

Council bolsters local activities with donations

The Morris City Council approved more than $100,000 in donations to community organizations from its Hotel/Motel Fund.

Based on the recommendation from its Finance and Administration Committee, the council unanimously approved the donations at its meeting Monday.

The donations were as follows: Canal Corridor Association - $7,500; Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival - $6,000; Grundy County Historical Society - $10,000; Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau - $8,000; Morris Athletic Association - $5,000; Morris Downtown Development Partnership - $55,000; Morris Downtown Retail Association - $7,500; Morris Youth Tackle Football Association - $5,000.

The Canal Corridor Association requested money again for the first time in several years. Alderman Bill Martin, chairman of the finance committee, said after the meeting that the association is putting in all new signs along the corridor this year.

The Grundy County Historical Society requested $15,500, but was given $10,000. Last year, it received $5,000 from the city.

The Morris Downtown Development Partnership also received an increase of $5,000 from last fiscal year. The MDDP puts on annual events attracting people to the city, such as the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament and Liberty Days.

The Morris Downtown Retail Association’s $7,500 is a new donation for the city. The Morris Youth Tackle Football Association requested $8,000, but was given $5,000, as it has been in years past.

From the Civic Improvement Fund, the council approved giving $2,400 to the Morris Young Musicians Mentor Band. This amount is $100 less than the city gave it last year. Last year was the first year for the program at Morris Community High School.

From the Tax Increment Financing District fund, $1,700 was approved for the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce to make building repairs.

“Some repairs need to be done for the brick on the building,” said Martin to the council.

Mayor Richard Kopczick said the building has some brick crumbling and because it is made of a unique brick, the chamber had to seek estimates from multiple businesses before it could find a company that could handle the project.

The chamber is located in the city’s old train depot, which is located inside the TIF district.

A TIF district freezes the assessed value of properties in the district. Any tax money generated from increases in value of those properties then goes into a special fund to be used to improve properties in the district.

Martin said the finance committee would be meeting again next week to discuss additional donations requested of the city and to meet with the auditor.

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