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Grundy Housing Authority completes new parking lot

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST
(Photo provided)
Saratoga Tower residents Jacque Santschi, Carol Milburn, Bernadine Zola, Sara Seidler, Chuck Bernardy, Lois Wicks and Mary Vilt enjoy the newly expanded parking lot at the tower. The Grundy County Housing Authority was able to accomplish this with the help of the community.

MORRIS – Parking improvements have been made at Saratoga Tower thanks to the help from the local community.

The parking lot expansion project at Saratoga Tower, which is part of the Grundy County Housing Authority, was completed this month through the GCHA’s “Pave it Forward” campaign, according to a news release from the authority.

Parking was limited at Saratoga for residents, their visitors and employees. Saratoga Tower also houses the regional office of the Community Nutrition Network, the Grundy County office of the Will Grundy Center for Independent Living and a Joliet Junior College program offering basic computer skills.

“Everyone we talked to was on board. Once we explained that these services are not only for our residents, but also offered to the community as a whole, everyone was eager to help,” Jennifer Olson, vice president of development, said in the news release. “D Construction was the first to donate a very generous amount. D also provided many in-kind hours of service. That first donation set the scene to what quickly became reality.”

The Lions Club of Morris donated the funds needed for the engineering for the project, according to the news release, and other donors were sought. The plans and drawings were done by Chamlin and Associates of Morris.

“It has been amazing to see so many people come together around this need,” Olson said in the news release. “We had no idea people would be so generous, giving not only money, but in-kind materials and labor for the project.”

The agency said every donor the GCHA approached supported the parking project, but each also gave in-kind donations material and hours. 

“We never imagined how quickly this project would take life. Every day I am amazed by the generous people of our community,” Brent Newman, CEO of the GCHA, said in the news release. “This is just another reason there’s truly no place like Grundy County.”

Contributors to the parking lot project included Rezin Orthopedics, which designated the GCHA as the beneficiary of its annual golf outing, as well as the city of Morris, Grundy County, Central Limestone, Unit Step, Grundy Redi Mix and Tri State.

The Grundy County Housing Authority provides homes to nearly 160 low income elderly and those living with disabilities, according to the news release. Last year, more than 20,000 meals were served at Saratoga Tower through the Community Nutrition Network.

“Walking even a short distance for these seniors can keep them from coming to our building to enjoy a hot meal, and when you add inclement weather we know many are going without,” Olson said in the news release. “CNN provides meals for seniors in our community five days a week. Plus, when we consider the other important programs we offer, this parking lot benefits so many.”

To learn about the Grundy County Housing Authority, visit gcha.us or call 815-942-6198.

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