FOFM has been awarded a $116,000 Tourism Attraction Grant from the Illinois Office of Tourism to be used as matching funds to purchase the former Laidlaw property in Metropolis.
Gov. Pat Quinn made the official announcement last week.
It’s the final piece in the puzzle needed to purchase the property from the City of Metropolis.
“We are very happy,” said FOFM president Mike Korte. “We’ve waited a long time. Happy that it’s finally over.”
It’s a journey that began almost five years ago.
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FOFM is a non-profit corporation founded in late 2002 to promote, pursue improvements and support financially Fort Massac State Park; to assist with educational programs; and to provide or assist with special celebrations and activities.
One dream that encompasses all of those goals is the building of a tourist attraction depicting the colonial village that began the city.
FOFM made its first proposal to the City of Metropolis in November 2008 to purchase what is commonly known as the old Laidlaw property. While other parties were interested in the 8.32 acres of property next to the state’s first park, FOFM’s was the only bid received in March 2009. It was then the sale took a giant step forward when the Metropolis City Council unanimously approved FOFM’s contract bid.
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