Cook County, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Local governments prepare: Cook County wants to give your citizens some of their tax dollars back. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced a call for applications today for the Department of Transportation and Highway’s (DoTH) “Invest in Cook” grant program to assist communities with transportation infrastructure improvements. In conjunction, the Bureau of Economic Development (BED) is also accepting Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications to support economic development in the County through capital improvement, public service and Emergency Solution Grant (ESG) programs.
“Making investments in transportation and economic development projects throughout Cook County is essential,” said President Preckwinkle. “These investments allow municipalities to begin or continue advancing crucial projects vital to the growth of the County and the residents that call our community home.”
Department of Transportation and Highways
Invest in Cook Grant Program
For the seventh year in a row, DoTH will make available $8.5 million in Invest in Cook infrastructure grants to help prioritize transit and other transportation alternatives, support the region’s role as North America’s freight capital, promote equal access to opportunities, maintain and modernize what already exists and increase investments in transportation.
Invest in Cook is an initiative of Connecting Cook County, which lays the groundwork for how the County invests in transportation to attract and retain businesses, people, capital and talent. In its first six years, Invest in Cook awarded $48.7 million to fund 205 projects throughout the County.
In addition to funding projects, Invest in Cook provides technical and grant-writing expertise through staff support to help communities tap into new funding sources and accelerate the completion of projects that may have languished.
“I am incredibly proud to offer this grant program for a seventh year,” said Jennifer ‘Sis’ Killen, superintendent of DoTH. “Invest in Cook is an important resource to further transportation-related projects across the County. This funding serves as a stepping stone for municipalities to begin a project or push an existing project across the finish line.”
Bureau of Economic Development
Community Development Block Grant Program
For over 40 years, Cook County has administered the CDBG program to support critical community development needs across suburban Cook County. Under CDBG, BED announced the call for applications for three grant programs including capital improvement, public service and ESG.
These programs are designed to support street and sewer improvements, HVAC and roof repairs/replacements as well as social service and homeless prevention needs in income-eligible areas of suburban Cook County. In 2022, over $7.9 million was awarded to 71 applicants across all three programs.
“Investing in traditionally underserved communities will create a better Cook County for us all,” said Bureau of Economic Development Chief Xochitl Flores. “The critical assistance provided through these grant programs creates equitable solutions for all suburban Cook County residents and businesses.”
CDBG funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and must be invested in line with Moving to Implementation, BED’s five-year strategic plan that guides the use of these HUD resources. CDBG funding can also be invested in capital projects that will lead to job creation and retention.
How to Apply
The application deadline for all grant opportunities is Friday, March 17, 2023, at 5 p.m. CST.
Invest in Cook
Under the Invest in Cook program, DoTH is seeking applications from local governments and transit agencies. Private and nonprofit organizations can also submit project proposals.
For more information and to apply, visit www.cookcountyil.gov/investincook
Community Development Block Grant Program
BED is seeking applications from local units of government and nonprofit organizations.
For more information and to apply, visit https://www.cookcountyil.gov/content/grant-applicants-2023-cdbg-esg
A virtual workshop to discuss all available grant opportunities will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, from 1 – 4 p.m. Those interested in applying for a grant can visit the Invest in Cook or CDBG webpages to register.
Award letters for all grant programs will be sent out late summer 2023 and a corresponding list of grantees will be published on the Invest in Cook and Community Development Block Grant program’s webpages.