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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2004

GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $2.2 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS FUNDING FOR IMPORTANT NORTH CENTRAL REGION INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS

 
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced more than $2.2 million in funding for new sanitation and water drainage improvement projects in the North Central region. These key initiatives will improve the health and quality of life of North Central residents, as well as provide the necessary infrastructure for economic growth. This aggressive effort to improve the quality of infrastructure and public facilities is a major theme of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative for the North Central region, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the area, which he announced last December.

“The most important job that I have as Governor is to create opportunity – to help every person in this region have the chance to earn a decent living,” said Governor Blagojevich. “Crucial infrastructure improvements like these may not be glamorous, but they will go a long way to helping make the North Central region an even more attractive place to live and do business.”

The funds for this initiative are part of the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP), a federally-funded grant program that assists Illinois communities by providing grants to local governments to help them in financing economic development, public facilities and housing rehabilitation projects. The program is targeted to assist low-to-moderate income people by creating job opportunities and improving the quality of their living environment. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity administers the program.

These CDAP initiatives address a critical need for the region. Communities with established infrastructure are under constant pressure to upgrade and rehabilitate their systems to keep up with changing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations, changing populations and changing needs. As more rural water wells are becoming undrinkable, rural water providers assume even greater importance.

Adequate sewer and water service is also vital to community and economic development. Without basic infrastructure, communities cannot compete for company relocation and expansion, but with a healthy infrastructure in place, communities can create jobs and prosper.

The North Central region’s public facilities improvements are as follows:
 
LOCATION
TYPE
DESCRIPTION
COST
Village of Avon,
Fulton County
Public Facilities
Construct new well
188,000
 
City of Farmington, 
Fulton County
 
Public Facilities
 
Construct water treatment plant
 
350,000
 
Village of Norris,
Fulton County
 
 
Public Facilities
 
Construct municipal sanitary sewer system
 
350,000
Village of Smithfield,
Fulton County
Public Facilities
Construct water system improvements
350,000
 
Reading Township,
Livingston County
 
Public Facilities
 
Extend water lines to unserved area Tri-Community Rural Water District
 
350,000
Village of Creve Coeur,
Tazewell County
Public Facilities
Replace water main
347,200
 
Village of Germantown Hills, Woodford County
 
Public Facilities
 
Sewer system improvements
 
206,200
 
Village of Washburn,
Woodford County
 
Design Engineering
 
Design water system improvements
 
79,935
 
 
Total:     
$2,221,335
 
“Improving water supplies and sanitation benefits everyone in the North Central region,” said Jack Lavin, Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “It improves people’s quality of life in their homes and neighborhoods and also benefits business owners and employees in the workplace.”

Governor Blagojevich’s 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 throughout each region, 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. Each plan is tailored to deliver real results that local businesses will see, feel, and, hopefully, profit from.
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