One Voice 2019 projects chosen

(Normal, Ill.) – The annual One Voice trip to Washington, D.C., will feature four projects.  These projects include two returning transportation efforts, a joint effort to support McLean County entrepreneurs, and an exploratory visit for McLean County’s Route 66 segment.

Each spring, the One Voice Task Force, led by the Bloomington-Normal EDC, travels to the nation’s capital to meet with Illinois’ congressional delegation to show them our community stands united in support of community issues involving projects, initiatives, and infrastructure improvements. For those projects needing funding, we work to meet with the federal agencies that may have grants or funds available.

Four projects will be taken as part of the 2019 One Voice program:

Connect Transit Transfer Center

Momentum for a Downtown Bloomington Transfer Center has grown since Connect Transit secured $3 million toward the project after One Voice 2018. Members of the One Voice task force will meet with officials at the Department of Transportation to determine next steps with the Federal Transit Administration for seeking available Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) and Bus and Bus Facilities grants or other resources.

 

Uptown Normal Railroad Underpass

The Town of Normal is seeking funds for a pedestrian and bicycle underpass near Uptown Circle and the Uptown Station Multimodal facility. A TIGER grant application has already been submitted, and One Voice members will further explore options with the Department of Transportation and Federal Railroad Administration. Normal was awarded a TIGER grant in 2010 as part of the planning and construction of the transportation center. This project award was supported by One Voice.

 

Small Business Community Incubator

This project is a continued mission of BNEDC and the BN Advantage initiative in building a local entrepreneurship ecosystem. The One Voice team will meet with members of the U.S. Small Business Administration to discuss grant funding for a community small business incubator and makerspace. This project is being coordinated with Illinois State University’s Means Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

 

McLean County Route 66

With the approach of the Route 66 Centennial in 2026, local organizations are working together to improve marketing and attractions through Bloomington-
Normal-McLean County. The One Voice group will meet with the National Parks Service to discuss programs to be designated under the Route 66 Centennial Commission and the recent
declaration of Route 66 as a National Historic Trail.

Since the trip began in 2007, One Voice has helped secure over $33.5 million for local projects across McLean County. This total includes $7.6 million for two projects in 2018. The trip will take place March 5-7, 2019.

By: Zach Dietmeier

Published: February 13, 2019