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Sycamore OKs grants that benefit county nonprofits

SYCAMORE – The city of Sycamore is honoring its annual commitment to help fund local nonprofit organizations.

The Sycamore City Council kicked off its new fiscal year Monday by unanimously approving more than $50,000 in grants between the Voluntary Action Center and the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp.

The Voluntary Action Center received $17,000 to assist its TransVAC, MedVAC and Meals on Wheels programs, as well as $20,000 for its Blue Line bus transportation service.

Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy said the city is happy to support an organization that benefits so many residents in need of these programs.

“Those possibilities are all service-related,” he said. “They’re directly related to our citizens.”

Sycamore City Manager Brian Gregory said the city has financially supported the Blue Line bus route, which costs $90,000 to operate each year, since 2007.

The contribution is part of a local matching agreement that is required for the center to receive federal and state funds, which Executive Director Tom Zucker said is how the organization is mainly funded.

The DCEDC also received a grant of $16,000, which will go toward its regular expenses.

Paul Borek, executive director of the organization, said they are in the process of creating a more innovative marketing campaign through a website that will attract businesses to the county. The site will be able to provide feedback on what visitors are searching for. The organization, in turn, can target these interests, he said.

Mundy said the efforts of the DCEDC are critical to the commercial and industrial success of the city.

“The jobs we have here are in no small part due to the DCEDC,” he said.

The annual grants for the two organizations are funded from the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund and the Sales Tax Distributive Fund and were issued in the same amounts last year.

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