SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the recipients for the 2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Public Infrastructure. A total of $18.2 million will be awarded to 34 communities across the state, enabling cities and towns in non-metropolitan areas to make repairs to shared water and sewer infrastructure that will enhance safety and quality of life for those who live there. With projects spread throughout Illinois, an estimated 113,266 residents will benefit from infrastructure upgrades.

The City of Benld will receive $550,000 in the grants.

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“Every community deserves clean water and reliable sewer service, and I’m proud to advance that right for over 113,000 Illinois residents in 34 downstate and rural community areas,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The 2020 Public Infrastructure grants program will empower cities and towns across the state to improve the quality of life for their residents, invest in community, create jobs, and lay the groundwork for even more revitalization down the road. As we look to shape an even stronger post-pandemic economy, it’s essential that we do so in a way that uplifts the whole state, across every zip code, and this $18 million infrastructure investment does right by that mission.”

Public infrastructure grants are designed to provide communities with funding to improve public infrastructure and eliminate conditions detrimental to public health, safety, and public welfare. Eligible uses of funding include repairs and system upgrades for water/sewer lines, as well as new and reconstruction projects including sewer treatment systems, pump stations, and more.

“DCEO is proud to award $18 million to help downstate and rural communities across Illinois make essential repairs to aging water and sewer infrastructure that will improve access to clean and safe water,” said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director of DCEO. “The Public Infrastructure program invests in projects that improve the health and safety of water systems – which in turn creates construction jobs and reduces the costs to consumers of old infrastructure. With another round of funding currently available for the 2021 program year, we encourage more downstate communities to apply to receive these funds.”

Grants will be provided in every economic development region, with the majority of funds benefitting primarily rural geographies. Local governments were able to request a maximum award of $550,000, with an average grant size for the 2020 program at $536,000. Preference was given for projects located in underserved areas, opportunity zones and those which proposed a non-state matching component to drive the maximum investment to the area.

When matched with other local funds, the grants will generate repairs valued at over $20 million.

2020 Public Infrastructure Recipients:

• City of Albion - $549,991
• City of Altamont - $550,000
• City of Benld - $505,306
• Village of Braceville, $454,165
• Village of Broughton, $550,000
• Village of Buda, $550,000
• Village of Butler, $550,000
• City of Canton, $547,299
• City of Carmi, $550,000
• City of Coffeen, $550,000
• Village of Coulterville, $550,000
• Village of Dongola, $550,000
• Village of Elliott, $550,000
• Village of Galatia, $430,000
• Village of Illiopolis, $550,000
• Village of Ladd, $550,000
• City of Lawrenceville, $549,822
• Village of London Mills, $550,000
• City of Marseilles, $538,724
• City of Mt. Olive, $550,000
• City of Ottawa, $550,000
• Village of Ramsey, $550,000
• Village of Ridgway, $550,000
• City of Rochelle, $550,000
• Village of Sheffield, $550,000
• City of St. Elmo, $550,000
• Village of Tampico, $550,000
• City of Toluca, $550,000
• Village of Tower Hill, $550,000
• Village of Verona, $550,000
• City of Wenona, $550,000
• Village of West Salem, $354,780
• City of Witt, $550,000
• Village of Wyanett, $550,000

“Like many small towns across America, Coulterville faces the unfortunate reality of water infrastructure that has reached the end of its useful life and that requires costly repairs and replacements,” said Village of Coulterville Mayor Steve Marlow. “However, thanks to the Pritzker administration and this public infrastructure funding opportunity – we’ll receive a much-needed boost to modernize our public works and ensure residents of our town can continue to count on safe and reliable water service.”

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“Rainy seasons have been a challenge in Marseilles due to overflow of nearby Gum Creek which causes flooding and serious challenges for our sanitary sewer system” said City of Marseilles Mayor James Hollenbeck. “With the assistance of this grant, we will now be able to address important issues that will assist in strengthening the infrastructure that is critical to achieving economic recovery, while providing residents with piece of mind and restoring confidence in the place they call home.”

“On behalf of the Village of Tampico, I would like to express how grateful we are to have been selected for this grant,” said Mayor Kristine Hill. “We will now be able to address major issues we are facing with our infrastructure. The flooding of 2019 accelerated deterioration of our aging storm sewer system and is at risk of failing, causing costly emergency repairs. These funds will enable us to expedite the project to address the condition without adding a burden to the residents of the village.”

“We are excited to receive this Public Infrastructure grant, as it will allow the city of Coffeen to construct a booster pump station finally connecting our residents to a safe, secure, long-term water system that they deserve,” said Mayor Sheila White. “Not only will this enhance our resident’s quality of life and put their mind’s at ease, but it will keep the city of Coffeen on a track for a bright and sustainable future.”

Since the CDBG public infrastructure began, nearly $470 million in CDBG Public Infrastructure dollars have been distributed to 1,654 communities around the state. Public Infrastructure program repairs can help alleviate the price consumers pay on their monthly bills, with inadequate or poor-performing sewage systems driving up the cost of sanitary sewer collection and treatment in many cases.

“The cost of maintaining public infrastructure is one of the largest budget items for any community,” said Rep. Tom Bennett. “Through the CBDG Public Infrastructure Grant, the village of Elliott will be able to provide reliable water to the community and updated infrastructure for years to come.”

“I’m grateful for the support of Governor Pritzker, the team at DCEO, and all of our local partners who worked on behalf of the five community awardees in my district,” said State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield). “As a result of the CDBG funds, residents will find relief from aging infrastructure in desperate need of repair, while boosting their quality of life and reducing impacts on the local budgets.”

“Thank you, Governor Pritzker, for helping provide access to funding to deliver essential infrastructure repairs in the communities that need it the most,” said State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “With funding from the CDBG Public Infrastructure grant, the city of Canton will deliver projects designed to make sewer systems more efficient. This type of funding for infrastructure will allow communities to grow while creating construction jobs and putting more people to work. Everybody wins.”

“Reliable access to clean drinking water isn’t a luxury - it's a fundamental right, said State Representative Lance Yednock (D-Ottawa). “Our CDBG public infrastructure program will empower communities to not only improve and modernize our aging infrastructure - but to generate new, economic development opportunities that will bring workers back to the construction site and give companies modern infrastructure they can count on."

The CDBG Public Infrastructure project is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These state-administered funds are earmarked exclusively for non-metropolitan communities that do not receive CDBG entitlement funding from HUD. All funding will benefit communities with 51 percent or more low-to-moderate income residences, in accordance with CDBG program requirements.

The 2021 program makes another $18 million available for public infrastructure projects. The deadline for communities to apply is Tuesday, August 3, 2021. Communities interested in applying for 2021 program should attend the Office of Community Development Public Infrastructure Workshop, scheduled for April 12th. To register to attend, please visit DCEO's website.

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