Aledo, IL – The City of Aledo has been awarded $3 million in state funding from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to complete capital improvements to Downtown Aledo.
The grant funding, which Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced on August 15th in conjunction with the DCEO, would go towards the creation of a new market area and so-called pedestrian spine connecting Main Street to Central Park.
“This Rebuild Illinois Downtown and Main Street Capital grant represents a massive investment in the heart of Aledo, our historic downtown,” Chris Hagloch, Mayor of Aledo, said. “With this funding and other dollars already secured, we will be able to create a beautiful new space for all residents of Aledo to enjoy.”
The proposed redevelopment will convert the alleyway behind N College Ave between Second Avenue and Main Street into a pedestrian walkway with multiple plazas and seating areas. Additionally, the parking lot adjacent to Central Park will be modernized into a new Market Plaza with improved traffic flow, decorative concrete and improved lighting and power options for vendors who frequently use the space during community events and farmer's markets.
“This grant will provide the funding necessary for Aledo to continue its downtown redevelopment strategy,” Chris Sullivan, Aledo City Administrator, said. “It will make it possible for the entire Downtown Aledo area to be pulled together into one coherent business and recreational district, and lays the foundation for future business, economic, and community development. This major public project will involve a cooperative effort between the grant funding agency, City financing, and private investment to bring it all together.
The block of SE Second Street between N College Ave and SE Second Avenue will be redesigned into a shared street concept that prioritizes pedestrian traffic while still accommodating vehicle traffic. This new brick-paved streetscape will coordinate with the Market Plaza and Pedestrian spine through updated lighting and landscaping.
“These capital improvements will go a long way toward preserving the community center of Aledo,” Jarod Dale, Aledo’s City Clerk, said. “This grant is incredibly exciting for Aledo and presents an opportunity for the city to support best the renovations and growth happening throughout downtown.”
The project includes an expansion of Central Park and the development of an east-west pedestrian trail between N College Ave and the Aledo Depot. This pathway would celebrate the history of the railroad alignment in Aledo.
Third Ward Alderman and Mayor Pro Tempore Michael Chausse celebrated the grant and talked about the value to Aledo.
“Our goal is to enhance the downtown in a way that will lead to more pedestrian traffic, which in turn will spur more business development in our historic downtown,” Chausse said. “Work of this scale is nearly impossible without a partnership of this magnitude.”
In announcing these Rebuild Illinois grant dollars, Governor JB Pritzker highlighted the impact that capital improvements can have on local communities like Aledo.
“With that upgraded infrastructure comes economic opportunity: more jobs, more business growth and more money pouring into the communities that need it most — and that's what Rebuild Illinois is all about."
Aledo is one of 50 communities in the state of Illinois to be awarded through the program and is one of 16 communities to receive $3 million in funding, the maximum allotment. The City submitted its grant application in January of 2022 with the help of HDR, Inc. This grant allocation is the largest single grant that Aledo has ever received.
Aledo, IL is an idyllic retreat from routine located just 30 minutes south of the quad cities. Founded in 1855, the community has over 3,300 residents. Find It All in Aledo. www.AledoIL.gov