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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2001

Governor Announces $6 Million in Illinois FIRST Funds for the City of Sterling

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the City of Sterling will receive $6 million in Illinois FIRST funding for economic development and job retention.

"In light of the recent economic uncertainties facing the City of Sterling, we are pleased that Illinois FIRST funding is available to assist the community at this critical time," said Ryan. "I want to commend the four legislative leaders, Senate President Pate Philip, Senate Democratic Leader Emil Jones, House Speaker Mike Madigan and House Republican Leader Lee Daniels, for their critical support of Illinois FIRST which is making this funding available. In addition to the legislative leaders, I want to recognize the efforts of Senator Todd Sieben, Representative Jerry Mitchell, Senator Denny Jacobs and Representative Mike Boland for working together to improve economic conditions in the region.

"The Illinois FIRST funds for the City of Sterling will be used for a variety of purposes including efforts to retain jobs at Northwestern Steel and Wire Company, capital projects and infrastructure improvements, and public safety equipment purchases. Local projects that will benefit from the funding include the Meadowlands Business Park and the redevelopment of the Central Business District. The funding is being administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA).

"The steel industry obviously has a major economic impact on thousands of lives in the Rock River Valley," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough. "Our efforts are designed not only to support job retention efforts at Northwestern Steel, but also to broaden the area's overall economic base while improving the quality of life in the community."



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