BENSENVILLE – As Illinois’ unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point since November 2008, Governor Pat Quinn today announced a nearly $69 million investment to create hundreds of jobs improving water treatment facilities in DuPage County. The projects are funded by Governor Quinn’s $2 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative (CWI) and are part of his agenda to drive Illinois’ economy forward and protect the environment by modernizing Illinois’ infrastructure.
“Illinois is making a comeback,” Governor Quinn said. “As we work every day to create jobs and put more people back to work, today’s news shows that we are headed in the right direction. With programs like the Illinois Clean Water Initiative, we will continue to create more jobs and build an economy that works for everyone."
Preliminary data, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, shows Illinois’ rate has dropped to 7.5 percent, the lowest since November 2008 – months before Governor Quinn took office.
Construction has already begun on a $30 million project in the village of Bensenville, which is in the process of expanding and upgrading its wastewater treatment plant. Upgrading the facility will enable the village to meet the needs of its growing community. The improvements will eliminate sanitary sewer overflows and basement backups and will ease flooding problems in the community.
“Improving the wastewater treatment plants in DuPage County will not only improve water quality for the region, but it will also ease flooding problems experienced by these communities,” Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Director Lisa Bonnett said. “We applaud the mayors and managers in DuPage County who recognize that clean and safe water is key to making our communities attractive places to live, work and do business.”
Other local projects include:
- The village of Wood Dale will receive $21.8 million to upgrade and rehabilitate the North wastewater treatment plant. These major improvements are needed to for the village to meet current and future environmental permitting requirements.
- The village of Addison will receive $6.7 million for improvements to the village’s pump stations and wastewater treatment facilities as identified in the village’s Master Plan. The Master Plan identified infrastructure components in need of improvement, replacement or expansion to meet the growing needs of the village and surrounding area.
- The city of Elmhurst will receive $10.1 million for improvements to the city’s sludge processing facilities and a long-awaited wet weather control plan that will ease flooding problems and control sanitary sewer overflows and basement backups in the city.
Governor Quinn launched the $1 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative in his 2012 State of the State address to help local governments rebuild or repair clean water infrastructure, including aging wastewater and drinking water treatment systems and plants throughout the state. These projects ensure that facilities are being upgraded to protect our streams and rivers, drinking water supplies and the environment as a whole. Due to the overwhelming success of the program, Governor Quinn announced in his 2014 State of the State address that he was doubling the available financing to $2 billion and he led passage of legislation to expand the allowable projects to include stormwater and green infrastructure projects.
According to the U.S. EPA, it is estimated the total water infrastructure needs in Illinois over the next 20 years total $32 billion, including $17 billion in wastewater projects (which is the 6th highest among the states) and $15 billion in drinking water projects (4th highest need in the nation). To date, more than $736 million in wastewater and drinking water loans have been awarded under the Illinois Clean Water Initiative, creating more than 24,700 jobs.
Governor Quinn is leading the way by investing in capital projects across Illinois to help maintain, modernize and build new infrastructure to help drive Illinois into 21st century and create a world-class infrastructure. Infrastructure investment is a key part of the Governor's 5-year plan for jobs and economic growth, which he laid out earlier this year.