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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2000

Governor Announces Infrastructure Upgrades for Litchfield, Gillespie

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that Illinois FIRST is helping to secure low interest loans for the cities of Litchfield and Gillespie to expand and upgrade their critical water and sewer infrastructure.

"Over the past year, Illinois FIRST has made a big difference in communities just like these in every corner of the state," Ryan said. "Without Illinois FIRST, the state simply would not be able to provide the assistance that many communities need to maintain and improve their critical infrastructure."

An $8.63 million low-interest loan has been approved for the city of Litchfield to expand and improve the city's sewage treatment plant. In the past, Litchfield has had difficulty complying with state effluent standards and has been subject to formal enforcement action because of these violations. The planned work should bring Litchfield into compliance with state effluent regulations.

Work will include the addition of an oxidation ditch, and relocation of the influent line to the treatment plant. Other additions will include final clarifiers, a sludge pump building, a sludge filter press, sludge storage tank and an excess flow chlorine contact tank.

Ryan also announced a $2.02 million low-interest loan for the city of Gillespie to bring the city’s drinking water plant into compliance with state standards.

In addition to water treatment plant improvements, a new raw water pumping station will be constructed at New Gillespie Lake, and a new 24,000 foot, 16 inch diameter raw water transmission main will be built from the lake to the treatment plant. The improvements are the first phase of a planned two-step project.

Both loans are made through revolving loan programs administered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The governor’s Illinois FIRST program guarantees full funding of IEPA’s loan programs through fiscal year 2004. The revolving loan programs utilize federal and state funding to provide loans for eligible projects at half the bond market interest rate. Interest paid on the 20 year loans is returned to the fund to support other low interest loans.



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