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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2004

GOVERNOR AWARDS ENVIRONMENTAL GRANT TO McLEAN COUNTY
Funds Will Protect Beach and Promote Recreation at Evergreen Lake

BLOOMINGTON – Governor Rod Blagojevich announced today a $40,000 Opportunity Returns grant to the City of Bloomington in McLean County to stabilize 600 feet of shoreline on either side of the swimming area at Evergreen Lake, a popular recreational destination, in Comlara Park.
 
Opportunity Returns is all about creating new jobs and improving our environment and quality of life.  Evergreen Lake, and the thousands of other lakes throughout Illinois, helps sustain our love of nature and provides us with fantastic recreational opportunities like boating and fishing while boosting the local economy.  This important grant preserves the environment and promotes responsible economic growth,” Governor Blagojevich said.
 
The grant comes from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Priority Lake and Watershed Implementation Program.  It is funded by a combination of state Conservation 2000 money and federal funds under the Clean Water Act.
 
“These grants address erosion and other critical environmental threats to popular lakes around our state.  This Opportunity Returns grant will ensure that people throughout McLean County can continue to enjoy Evergreen Lake for years to come,” Illinois EPA Director Renee Cipriano added.
 
The Opportunity Returns regional economic development plan is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history.  Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – finding areas with common economic strengths and needs, and developing a plan with specific actions for each region.  This grassroots effort for the North Central Region is a product of significant outreach over several months with business, civic and labor leaders, and elected officials.  The more than 40 specific projects that the Governor announced in December for the North Central Region are designed to be flexible and effective.  This plan is tailored to deliver real results that local businesses will see, feel, and, hopefully, profit from.


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