County finance committee approves $1.56M of ARPA funding – Kankakee Daily Journal

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Updated: April 2, 2023 @ 1:34 am
The location of the new Kankakee County Animal Control site is 134 Mooney Drive in Bourbonnais.
Associate Editor
The location of the new Kankakee County Animal Control site is 134 Mooney Drive in Bourbonnais.
KANKAKEE — Another round of COVID-19 pandemic funding — including $1.5 million for rehab of the Kankakee County Animal Control building — has been approved by the Kankakee County Board’s Finance Committee.
The committee approved seven funding requests Wednesday, totaling $1,565,000, which includes the $1.5 million for the new Kankakee County Animal Control building in Bourbonnais.
The American Rescue Plan Act funds must be given final approval by the full county board at its April 11 meeting.
The Kankakee County Board received $21.3 million in federal COVID-19 relief money. Including this latest round of allocations, the county has committed $14.3 million, or about 67% of the total funds, noted Kankakee County Finance Director Steve McCarty.
Regarding the animal control building, the county purchased 134 Mooney Drive for $499,900 in April 2022 as the department’s new home. The $1.5 million in ARPA funds will go toward the renovations, as well as an addition on the facility that allows dogs to run outside of the kennel.
“It’s a not-to-exceed number,” said board Chairman Andy Wheeler on the ARPA funding.
Other ARPA funds were approved for the Kankakee County Fire Chiefs Association, Catholic Charities, Josh’s Pizza [doing business at Johnny’s Pizza], Options Center for Individual Living, Bishop McNamara Catholic High School softball and Driven by Ambition.
The Kankakee County Fire Chiefs Association was approved for $20,000 for Vector Solutions, which is a web-based tool to help every fire department and firefighter to easily record training hours.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet was approved for $10,000 to provide human services to people in need. Although the diocese covers seven counties, the money must be used for Kankakee County residents.
The Catholic Charities’ programs include homeless shelters, transitional and permanent supportive housing, senior services, and mental health and family counseling among its homelessness prevention services.
Johnny’s Pizza in Kankakee was approved for $5,000 for small business assistance, and Joshua Brittain, the owner, wrote in his request that it would go toward a “green” exhaust system to help reduce energy costs, provide better ventilation and help prevent leaks in the roof. Brittain added it “would make a huge difference in our day-to-day and long-term ability to serve the Kankakee area.”
The Options Center for Independent Living in Bourbonnais was approved for $10,000 for the nonprofit, and the funds will be used for its Ramp Assistance Program for residents in Kankakee County, outside the city of Kankakee. The program can provide a mobile or modular ramp on a home for a person with mobility impairment.
Bishop McNamara Catholic High School softball was approved for $10,000 to assist in the labor and materials to redo its existing power to the softball field.
“Just so the committee knows and the board knows, we discussed this one in depth,” Wheeler said. “… The reason we’re recommending approval, for the most part, is it qualifies and then the community uses that field. It’s not just for Bishop McNamara High School. They let people use that field from all walks of life and all parts of the county, so we did look at it as a community asset and not benefiting one school or another.”
Driven By Ambition, a trucking business in Pembroke Township, was approved for $10,000 that will be applied to cover equipment repairs, payroll and overhead operations as well as the purchase of new equipment.
Associate Editor
Chris Breach is the Associate Editor of The Daily Journal and the editor of the business section. A graduate of Indiana University, Breach has more than 25 years experience in newspapers. He can be reached at
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