FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CARBONDALE – In 2022, the City of Carbondale made significant progress toward its goals outlined in the City’s Vision 2025. Guided by these goals, and with the support and leadership of the Carbondale City Council, City staff have made strategic decisions to strengthen the local economy, improve infrastructure, revitalize the downtown, and establish processes to address diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As a result of the staff's hard work, in 2022, the City of Carbondale brought in more than $8M in grant funding for major projects, including the Southern Illinois Multimodal Station and Phase 1 of the Downtown Entertainment and Event Plaza.
Outlined below are more of the City of Carbondale's most notable highlights and successes of 2022:
- Maintained Home Rule status with voters in Carbondale passing the referendum with a 78 percent majority. Home rule will allow the City of Carbondale to continue providing services without a property tax increase while also empowering the City to make decisions locally.
- Distributed $2.1M in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to Carbondale organizations and nonprofits working to address gun violence, food insecurity, workforce training, mental health, after-school programs, and to improve playgrounds and nature trails.
- Assisted Clearwave Communications to make affordable fiber-based broadband available to over 11,000 households within the City’s corporate limits. This community-wide effort required heavy involvement from the City’s Utilities Department, Fire Department, and Economic Development office.
- Established the Carbondale Inclusion Task Force to identify discrimination and disparities in the community and make strategic recommendations to the City Council and other key institutions.
- In April, Council passed the City of Carbondale Sustainability Action Plan, written by the City Sustainability Commission, which commits to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and a 45% reduction by 2030. In addition, in December, the City was recognized on a world stage at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity COP15 for its nature-forward approach to resilience, climate, and sustainability.
- The Carbondale Fire Department improved its ISO rating, jumping from a score of 4 to a score of 2. This rating is a badge of honor that has been achieved by only the top 6% of fire departments nationally and makes homes in Carbondale less expensive to insure.
- Launched the Veo electric scooter program and surpassed more than 100,000 rides in the first six months of operation.
- Initiated the Cedar Lake Master Recreation Plan to expand outdoor activities and land use at Carbondale’s Cedar Lake.
- Received $600,000 in congressionally directed spending for a new CAD Record Management System for the Carbondale Police Department.
- Purchased the first electric and hybrid vehicles for the City of Carbondale’s fleet.
- Designated Attucks High School as a landmark district to help ensure the preservation of the building and site, and its history, for future generations.
- Improved accessibility by expanding internet payments and form processing online. These upgrades allow residents to make payments and apply for permits and applications on the City’s website.
- Achieved 100% funding in public safety pension funds ahead of the statutory mandate of 2040.
- Invested $1.4M to improve Evergreen Park by resurfacing the roads and parking lots and constructing two new restroom facilities. The community will be invited to a grand re-opening in Spring 2023.
- Completed the third and final phase of the Illinois Avenue Streetscape Project, which included new street lighting, ADA-compliant pedestrian walkways, trees, planters, and other streetscape elements.
- Completed Hunt Road and Main Street water line replacements.
- Completed Giant City Road Rehabilitation project, which included partial and full-depth pavement patching; the total project cost was $488,879.
- Enhanced recruitment strategies to increase diversity within the City of Carbondale
- Implemented an online application, application tracking, and recruitment system to simplify the hiring process for applicants and the City of Carbondale.
This overview is only a fraction of what the City of Carbondale, its dedicated staff, and community partners accomplished over the last year. We are proud of this work and community and look forward to continuing efforts to lead Carbondale into a bright and sustainable future.