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Town of Normal News

Posted on: December 13, 2023

Normal secured more than $5.3 million in grants in 2023

Image of the CDM's Luckey Climber exhibit

Normal, Ill.– Dec. 13, 2023 – Town of Normal residents benefit from 2023 grant awards totaling $5,375,429 to make infrastructure improvements and advances in safety, contribute to relocating and building a new fire station, replace a museum exhibit, support the Normal Police Department and provide for the future. 

“These financial resources could be directed to any community across the state and the nation. Instead, thanks to Town staff’s dedication, these dollars come to Normal to uplift and fortify our community,” says City Manager Pamela Reece

Infrastructure and safety improvements

Grants from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will help improve roads and sidewalks in Normal: 

  • Nearly $2.3 million from IDOT will supplement funds necessary to resurface West College Avenue from Rivian Motorway to White Oak Road. This project will go out for bid in January 2024. 
  • $450,000 from DCEO will enhance sidewalks and road surfaces on Adelaide Street, near Oakdale Elementary School. 

“Both of these grants supplement much-needed projects in our community,” adds Reece. “I am proud of staff’s commitment to stretch the taxpayer dollar.”  

DCEO also granted the Town of Normal $1 million to contribute to the relocation of Fire Station #2 which will improve fire and emergency services to residents in northeast Normal. 

Pedestrian & traffic safety

Another large grant ($360,000) from IDOT illustrates the strong partnership between the Town of Normal and Illinois State University (ISU). This grant supports 80% of the cost to study pedestrian safety and traffic around campus and along Constitution Trail north of Uptown Normal. The Town and ISU will partner to pay the remaining $90,000 of the estimated $450,000 project cost. The study will begin in the Spring and will likely take around 18 months to complete.

“The Town is glad to collaborate with ISU on this effort,” adds Reece. “Everyone is responsible for roadway safety. Motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists all share the road. The study will review data and survey students and the community to identify troublesome areas and potential solutions.”

Museum’s Luckey Climber 90% grant-funded

The Children’s Discovery Museum received an additional $227,480 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois State Museum to supplement a $568,700 grant originally received in 2020 for the installation of the new Luckey Climber exhibit

“The strong relationships museum staff create with peers and colleagues made this supplemental grant possible,” adds Reece. “The Museum is an asset in our community and the team always maximizes the impact of every dollar.” 

The Luckey Climber is an open-air suspension of molded plastic petals and steel cables, surrounded by a glass floor. The exhibit, which spans more than two stories and lights up with embedded color-changing LEDs, cost $894,000 and took more than 24 months to complete. The Luckey Climber is one of the Museum’s most popular exhibits. The new climber replaces a previous version which served more than 2 million visitors over its 19-year lifespan.

 Normal Police Department

More than $600,000 in grants from several different sources support the efforts of the Normal Police Department (NPD). 

“NPD appreciates resources which will help improve crime prevention, provide equipment and community education,” says Reece. 

Notably, a $500,000 DCEO grant is designated to help create connections with at-risk youth and provide violence prevention and education. 

Additional grants supplement the purchase of equipment, including body-worn cameras, lifesaving equipment in patrol cars and other investigative equipment. 

Providing for the future

Town of Normal facilities will benefit from a $115,180 grant to reduce energy use and improve energy efficiency. 

 The Normal Public Library received more than $91,000 in grants which help the library provide access to resources and educational materials. 

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Summary of Grants Awarded to the Town of Normal in 2023


The Town of Normal Received:


To improve the community by…

 $                2,269,150 

Illinois Department of Transportation Truck Access Route and Economic Development programs

resurfacing West College Avenue from Rivian Motorway to White Oak Road.

 $                1,000,000 

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)

providing funds that contribute to the relocation and building of a new Fire Station #2.

 $                  500,000 

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)

creating connections with at-risk youth age 13-18 and providing violence prevention and education. 

 $                  450,000 

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)

enhancing sidewalks and roadways along Adelaide Street, near Oakdale Elementary School, in 2024. 

 $                  360,000 

Illinois Department of Transportation

partnering with Illinois State University to study pedestrian safety and traffic around campus and along Constitution Trail north of Uptown Normal. The Town and ISU will partner in the remaining $90,000 of this estimated $450,000 project.

 $                  250,000 

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)

installing security cameras in and around Uptown Station. 

 $                  227,480 

Public Museum Capital Grants Program: Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois State Museum

funding construction of a new Luckey Climber exhibit at the Children's Discovery Museum (supplement to the initial $568,700 grant awarded for the project in 2020).

 $                  115,180 

US Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Conversation Block Grant Program

reducing energy use and improving energy efficiency at Town of Normal facilities. 

$                    77,785 

Public Library Per Capita Grant

increasing community access to materials by funding Normal Public Library's participation in the Resource Sharing Alliance regional consortium to enable resource sharing through reciprocal borrowing, system-wide holds and interlibrary loans.

 $                    57,550 

The Illinois Law Enforcement Training & Standards Board

providing body-worn cameras for officers. 

$                    23,327 

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation

adding lifesaving equipment (defibtech AEDs) to Normal Police Department patrol cars. 

 $                    12,410 

Secretary of State and the Illinois State Library

assisting the Normal Public Library with a series of coding classes for community children through the Project Next Generation grant. 

 $                    11,454 

Chestnut Health Systems

partnering with the Normal Police Department to curb underage drinking and marijuana use. 

 $                      9,596 

 Justice Assistance Grant

providing additional equipment for Normal Police Department.

 $                      6,812 

Illinois Department of Transportation

helping the Normal Police Department promote road safety and improve enforcement of speed-related traffic safety laws. 

 $                      3,685 

Crime Detection Network

assisting the Normal Police Department with the purchase of investigative equipment. 

$                      1,000 

Illinois Prairie 
 Community Foundation 

decreasing the number of people affected by period poverty by providing free products in bathrooms at Normal Public Library. 

 $          5,375,429 


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