DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek Announces $585,000 Grant Approved To Expand Paving of Parking Lot at Fairgrounds
Funding for Paving Made Possible by Grant from Illinois State Board of Elections
Last updated 9/19/2022 at 8:54pm
WHEATON, IL – DuPage County Clerk Jean Kaczmarek announces that the DuPage County Fairgrounds’ main parking lot will be completely repaved in 2023 thanks to a $585,000 polling place accessibility grant from the Illinois State Board of Elections. A portion of the parking lot was already repaved in 2022 thanks to an initial state grant of $149,000. The Fairgrounds serves as DuPage County’s most popular polling place during Early Voting and Election Day.
“Nearly 34,000 people voted at the Fairgrounds during the 2020 General Election. Voters returning in 2022 will already notice a night-and-day difference in the condition of the main parking lot from funding from the first grant,” Kaczmarek says. “Many of the bumps, potholes, gravel and puddles near the polling place are already gone. We’re pleased that this latest grant was approved so the lot can be completed.”
Total grant money the DuPage County Clerk’s office has obtained for improvements to the Fairgrounds’ parking lot is $734,000.
The County Clerk’s Office began to partner with the Fairgrounds as their main Early Voting site and Central Vote Center in 2020 out of necessity during COVID as a location to keep voters and election judges safe. Many things came together to make the 2020 election successful – the availability of the Fairgrounds was among them. Because the Fairgrounds worked so well for elections, the partnership will continue.
“When the polling place grant opportunity was presented last year, Deputy Clerk Scott MacKay suggested a much-needed fresh parking lot for our most popular polling site – the Fairgrounds,” Kaczmarek adds. “After the first portion of the main lot was completed, we sought funds to complete the project.”
DuPage County Fairgrounds Association Manager and CEO Jim McGuire says, “I cannot thank Clerk Kaczmarek and her team enough for their support. Receiving the first polling place accessibility grant lifted the grounds incredibly. The comfort of our guests was huge, but the overall look and functionality has created many opportunities. To receive a second big grant is something we have only dreamed about.”