The Strong Communities Program is part of the Governor’s Rebuild Illinois capital plan.
In December the program received $10 million to distribute to communities across the state for neighborhood revitalization.
The Strong Communities Program gives grants to local government agencies to clean up abandoned and run-down properties.
The properties are renovated or demolished depending on their condition to make them desirable again and create revenue for the city.
The City of Mt. Vernon received $168,000 from the program in December and City Manager Mary Ellen Bechtel says they know how they want to use the grant.
“We have a list and we have more than 30 properties on that list, so we’re going to go through that list and demolish as much as we possibly can for the $168,000,”
Bechtel says the city sets aside $100,000 to $200,000 from its budget to address blighted properties.
The Strong Communities Program is projected to rehabilitate around a thousand homes and demolish 500 homes that are beyond repair.