The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the recipients for the 2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Public Infrastructure on Monday, April 5.
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.
Locally, the Village of Butler, the City of Coffeen and the City of Witt, will each receive grants in the amount of $550,000.
“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 residents’ quality of life and put their minds at ease, but it will keep the city of Coffeen on a track for a bright and sustainable future.”
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.
“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 community awardees in my district,” said State Senator Doris Turner. “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.”
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.
“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.”
Since the Community Development Block Grant 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 CDBG Public Infrastructure project is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).