Rauner halts state construction grants

Work on a new community hot spot is on hold after Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner suspended all state construction grants.

That decision came just 73 days before the opening of a new splash park in Carbondale.

For Harvey Welch, Jr., this isn’t the first time he was denied entrance to the city pool.

“I was denied based on my color, many of the privileges that are given to citizens,” said Harvey Welch, Jr.

Memories that were brought back when Welch found out that children in Carbondale could be denied the use of the new splash park, after Governor Bruce Rauner drained grant funding.

“Part of us getting into this was we agreed to raise $900,000 on our own,” said Welch, Jr. “We have done that, and now to be told we can’t complete it, it hurts.”

However, Welch isn’t the only person hurt by the closure.

“We want to go swimming,” shouted children from a nearby daycare.

To try and help these kids reach their goal, Kathy Renfroe is taking a lap looking for donors.

“The men and women that are on this job, they’re going to do everything they can in their power to get us open, but this isn’t a job where we can take a month off,” said Kathy Renfroe.

To try and get back to work, Local 773 was the first to take the plunge, by throwing a $7,000 check into the pool. A move they hope will encourage the state, and local community, to dip into their pockets.

The Carbondale Parks District has created a website for donations which you can find by clicking here. 

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