Springfield State Journal-Register

November 19, 2005

Congress approves funds for Lincoln tourism project

By Dori Meinert
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON -- Congress gave final approval Friday to a compromise funding bill that includes $500,000 for the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition's tourism initiative.

The coalition is made of central Illinois communities who share the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The state-aided tourism and economic development effort provides visitors to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum with other Lincoln-related sites in nearby communities, including Galesburg, Decatur and Bloomington.

The funds come through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The bill also includes $375,000 for Springfield's MTD night bus service project.

The compromise bill, which funds transportation, housing and other projects, was approved by the House and the Senate and sent to President Bush to be signed into law.

The Illinois projects were included at the request of Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who sit on the House and Senate Appropriation Committees.

Among other central Illinois area projects, the bill includes:

- $200,000 for the Community Foundation of Decatur/Macon County for construction and rehabilitation of housing facilities for the homeless and disabled.

- $100,000 for Lincoln Christian College to restore Hargrove Auditorium.

- $250,000 for Illinois College in Jacksonville for the renovation of Compton Hall.

- $75,000 for the village of South Jacksonville's Godfrey Playground.

- $80,000 for Beardstown's historic Grand Opera House.