September 26, 2008

Bivins: Bill Would Aid Apple River Fort

ELIZABETH, Ill. - The bill passed Tuesday by the Illinois Senate to restore funding for human service agencies and state parks and historic sites includes money to keep open Apple River Fort, in Elizabeth, according to state Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon.Bivins credited a "strong outcry" by northwest Illinois residents for bringing the Senate back to Springfield for the vote. The Senate vote followed Sept. 10 action by the Illinois House that authorized the funding's restoration.The measure goes now to Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his signature. The funding was originally reduced as a consequence of a $1.4 billion cut in the state budget ordered by Blagojevich.Unless money is restored to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency's budget, Apple River Fort is scheduled for closure Oct. 15.The fort at Elizabeth is a 1997 re-creation of one that first protected Elizabeth's settlers from an attack by Sauk and Fox warriors in 1832. It was restored by nearly $500,000 in private donations and hundreds of hours of volunteer labor and then turned over to the state of Illinois.

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