October 19, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Doug Scott announced grants and loans for environmental projects to improve wastewater quality in Illinois, using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Recovery program was authorized earlier this year by the United States Congress and President Barack Obama.
Evanston, Aurora, Normal, Yorkville and Springfield have completed the necessary criteria to meet the required “shovel ready” definition. Under ARRA, the state allocates the available funding based on “readiness to proceed” to move projects forward as quickly as possible in order to create badly-needed jobs and to meet critical infrastructure needs. Yorkville will receive nearly $1.5 million in the form of 20 year interest free loans with the first 25 percent of the principal forgiven by the State of Illinois under the terms of the ARRA.
The federal Recovery program provides a substantial increase in the clean water and drinking water low-interest revolving loan programs administered by Illinois EPA. The program provides financing in the form of grants and zero interest loans to communities for projects such as wastewater treatment plant upgrades and expansions, new sewer lines, drinking water treatment plant modifications and expansions, and new or replacement water distribution systems.
- The City of Evanston, located in Cook County, will be using the proceeds of a $1,933,862 “stimulus” loan to make major improvements on their drinking water intake and distribution systems. Specifically, the City will be replacing approximately 3,000 feet of deteriorating water main, which is approximately 60-80 years old, and installing a heated intake system for the existing water intake structure to prevent freezing and ice build-up that inhibits optimum water operations. Using funding provided by the Illinois EPA’s Public Water Supply Loan Program under terms offered under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the City will benefit from zero interest loan terms over the 20-year life of the loan, with 25 percent of principal provided forgiven under ARRA terms.
- The City of Aurora, which lies in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties, will receive a $1,137,278 “stimulus” loan for three major water main replacement projects in the City. The existing mains are 50-60 years old, have exhibited a consistent pattern of breaks in the recent past and are inadequate for maintaining water pressure in these areas. The improvements will result in significant water savings and will dramatically reduce service problems in the affected areas. Financing for the projects will be provided by the Illinois EPA’s Public Water Supply Loan Program under terms made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under those terms, funding will be provided as a 20-year loan at zero interest with 25 percent of the principal provided under the loan being “forgiven” by state and federal funding authorities.
- The town of Normal in McLean County will receive $1,479,677 under the terms offered under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This project will address periodic reports of bacteria in the existing water supply wells and provide for the rehabilitation of eight existing filters with an average age of 30 years. The improvements will improve filter performance, allow for an increased filtration rate and improve the removal of bacteria and viruses. The town will realize significant water savings, as well as savings in chemical and power usage. Under terms of the stimulus package, the financing will be provided as a 20-year loan at zero interest with 25 percent of the principal provided under the loan being “forgiven” by state and federal funding authorities.
- The Yorkville-Bristol Sanitary District (YBSD), serving an estimated population of 16,300 in the City of Yorkville and surrounding unincorporated areas in Kendall County, will be using a $1,450,719 “stimulus” loan to make major sewer and utility improvements in preparation for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant. When complete, the new plant will allow the YBSD to meet current and future discharge requirements and to accommodate anticipated growth in the service area. Funding for the project will be provided primarily by the Water Pollution Control Loan Program under terms made possible by passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The loan will be repaid over 20 years at zero interest, with 25 percent of the principal provided forgiven under the ARRA terms.
- The Springfield Metropolitan Sanitary District (SMSD), serving an estimated population of 145,000 residents in the Sangamon County communities of Springfield, Chatham, Grandview, Jerome, Leland Grove, Rochester, Sherman and Southern View, will be using the proceeds of a $20 million “stimulus” loan to fund the first phase of a four-phase project to construct a new wastewater treatment plant on a 25-acre site adjacent to the existing Spring Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Spring Creek Plant, located on Eighth Street Road north of the Illinois State Fairgrounds, became operational on July 10, 1929, and was last upgraded significantly in 1975. Funding for the project will be provided through the Water Pollution Control Loan Program, using both state and ARRA money, under terms made possible by passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The loan will be repaid over 20 years at zero interest, with 25 percent of the principal provided forgiven under the ARRA terms. This funding is available through a combination of ARRA and the state’s Revolving Fund.
The list of communities requesting funds included 746 projects totaling $3.24 billion for wastewater projects and 895 projects totaling $1.46 billion for drinking water projects. Illinois EPA receives approximately $180 million for wastewater projects and $80 million for drinking water projects through ARRA. This demonstrates the significant need for infrastructure improvements in the state.