Monmouth will receive $10,000 from the inaugural Illinois Broadband Innovation Fund. The state received 113 applications for the grant program. Just 14 winners were selected.
Monmouth Director of Community Development Paul Schuytema said his city was the only municipality chosen.
“That’s pretty exciting, and to be a municipality that’s not like Chicago but a little bitty town of 9,400 people in the cornfields, it’s a great honor,” Schuytema said. “We’re looking forward to delivering some good work and sharing it.”
Schuytema said the city will create the Warren County Virtual Museum. It’s described as a “custom-developed web application to deliver an on-line museum and exhibit experience.” Schuytema said it will primarily appeal to current and past residents, but it can also be used to market the city and the county.
The total cost of the project is $26,000. The city will partner with the Warren County Historical Society, Monmouth College, the Buchanan Center for the Arts, the Warren County Public Library, Frontier Communications, and Midwest Bank of Western Illinois.
Schuytema said he’s been “noodling around” on the concept with Monmouth College Professor Bridget Draxler.
“We’re very serious about being able to create our own web applications and take charge of technology. Not let it run us but let us run it and create with it,” Schuytema said. “I think that kind of captured their (the state’s) imagination.”
The virtual museum could include photos of artifacts, documents, video snippets, and soundbites. Schuytema hopes to create a tool that ultimately can be shared with other county and regional museums.