This is interesting on several levels.
"As Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers grapple with a budget deficit of up to $4 billion, state agencies have suspended more than 1,000 grants, including $1.2 million in four grants promised to Belleville."
No organization -state, local or private- wants to see grant money dry up. Often times these groups base a large part of their working/project budget with those monies included and when the money is not there, it means things won't get done. In the spotlighted case of Belleville, Edwardsville, East St. Louis and Swansea I was taken aback by some of the plans these cities had for state money.
$350,000 for several improvements at South Side Park. The total cost of this project was estimated to be $700,000, with the city covering the costs not met by the state grant. Some of this work, including new playground equipment, has been completed. Not sure new playground equipment is a good use of state money. And $298,600 for improvements to Bi-Centennial park, a relatively new park.
However, 500,000-"The city planned to use this money to resurface six blocks of Prairie Avenue from Wabash Avenue to Garden Boulevard, install new storm water drainage at Prairie and Portland Avenue, fix sidewalks at 23rd and West Main streets and fix sidewalks along South Second, Garfield and Harrison streets." Storm water issues is arguably legitimate use of money.
Edwardsville: "a $400,000 grant intended to use for the planned spray and play park at the site of the former shelter care home." Nope, not such a great use of money. However, on the plus side, Edwardsville is still moving forward with the park plans and it is conducting a fundraising campaign. Good for them.
Swansea: "A $30,000 grant intended to fund two welcome to Swansea signs the village already paid to have erected." So it's done and something which should be paid for by the locals.
East St. Louis: "A 237,000 grant to renovate the tennis courts at Lincoln Park." Again this is not something state money should be funding in any event.
The money won't be arriving it seems and maybe this is a good thing for the most part.