$5.2 million slated for Adam Kinzinger’s 16th District in $1.7 trillion federal spending package

$2M for Morris water treatment plant, well expansion; DePue dike project

Morris City Hall

Roughly $5.2 million of the $1.7 trillion spending package awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature is slated for projects within U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s 16th Congressional District.

Just short of $30 million in projects were requested from within the Channahon Republican’s district. A number of projects dealt with infrastructure to water treatment, sewers and fire protection. Projects were requested in Grundy, Bureau, La Salle, Will, Ogle, Ford, Livingston, Lee and Putnam counties.

Within the final appropriations, the city of Morris is projected to receive $2 million for a new water treatment plant and wells for the city to continue commercial and industrial growth on its north and east sides. The city initially requested more than $17 million for the project.

The federal government also is slated to kick in $2 million of a $3.3 million project in DePue that will raise the dike around the waste water treatment plant to protect the facility from flooding of the Illinois River.

Descriptions of all the earmarks can be found at appropriations.house.gov/transparency, as well as on representatives’ websites, including Kinzinger’s.

The projects slated for final funding within Kinzinger’s district include:

A new water treatment plant and wells in Morris. Will receive $2 million. Requested $17,321,665. Morris plans to construct a new 3.0 MGD water treatment plant and additional wells to service its north and east sides. Major commercial and industrial growth is expected in these areas in the short and long term. The project involves the construction of two new deep wells and raw water supply lines to provide raw water to the proposed softening facilities. Additionally, a new finished water main will be constructed to fill the city’s elevated storage tank. An existing pressure reducing valve will need to be located to the intersection of Ashley and Gun Club roads.

Raising waste water treatment plant dike in DePue. Will receive $2 million. Requested $3,255,417. The project involves raising the dike around the waste water treatment plant because it needs to be raised to protect the facility from flooding of the Illinois River. Raising of the dike involves the Illinois Department of Natural Resources-mandated excavation of a compensatory storage, but all soil in the area is contaminated, requiring special and expensive disposal.

Mt. Morris Fire Protection District engines have to be serviced outdoors, regardless of weather conditions, because the fire station's ceiling is too low for the cabs to be raised inside. The fire department is seeking to construct a new fire station. Their current one was built in 1924 and is too small to offer a safe environment from which to serve the community, Fire Chief Rob Hough IV said.

Fire station project in Mt. Morris. Will receive $1 million. Cost $1 million. The Mt. Morris Fire Protection District is in need of a new station. Their existing facility requires many physical accommodations and functional sacrifices daily by the firefighters and needs to be replaced. It is obsolete by modern fire service planning standards and has reached the end of its useful life as a fire station. Substantial expenditures can be made to improve and maintain this facility, but most physical deficiencies still will exist. Standards and requirements for firefighter safety, health, education and efficiency can’t be met with this facility, which endangers firefighters as well as our entire service population. Proper storage and maintenance of expensive fire service apparatus is difficult at best with no room in the building or on the site for improvement or expansion.

New electric vehicle direct current fast charging stations in Wilmington. Will receive $750,000. Cost $750,000. The project will provide direct current fast charging stations for electric vehicles. The charging stations are proposed to be open to public use for local Wilmington and Will County residents and travelers along the Interstate 55 Corridor. Based on the proximity to the interstate, higher-powered DCFC Stations are recommended to deliver attractive charging speeds. Depending on the funds received, this site is estimated to include two to six DCFCs and will be set up for future expansion to add additional stations as demand requires. The site is a planned retail center, which makes this a desirable and safe stop for drivers of EVs. The stations will be supplemented by solar canopies to provide renewable energy as a source of power for the site improvements and support local and national renewable energy initiatives. Partnerships with regional and national charging networks will be explored to maximize the exposure of the station to the EV community.

Substation for Pontiac Fire District. Will receive $500,000. Cost $500,000. This project will construct a second fire and emergency medical service substation on the west side of the city near the hospital. The substation will help enhance the health and safety of the residents of Pontiac and the surrounding communities as well as help house the additional personnel and apparatus that were added after abruptly expanding emergency services in 2021. It would have three apparatus bays to house two advanced life support ambulanced and one fire apparatus, as well as, living quarters to accommodate up to five first responder personnel. The substation would also provide immediate support to the local rural hospital for emergency transfers to higher level care hospitals in Illinois.

Emergency water infrastructure needs for Roberts. Will receive $90,400. Cost $113,000. The funding would be used for several water infrastructure expenses to its back-up well, which is not functional and to their primary well which failed in late 2021. It would also be used to update their water meters and make additional upgrades that are immediately needed for the village.

Projects that were not selected to receive funds include:

A new water tower in Earlville. Cost $1,800,000. This project consists of the construction of a 250,000 gallon capacity elevated storage tank near the Well No. 4 site on the southwest corner of the city limits. The tower height will be 120 feet to high water level (overflow).

Improvements to U.S. 6 in Will County. Cost $1,500,000. The purpose of the project is to improve safety for all vehicles and trucks along U.S. 6. The area is projected to see an increase in traffic because of varying factors, including the increased number of intermodal campuses off of Interstate 55. This project will mitigate congestion at the intersection of I-55 and I-80, providing a more direct route to the intermodal facilities. This will reduce vehicle miles traveled, decrease vehicle emissions being disbursed into local communities, and minimize the impact of trucks on local roadways.

Subsidized housing in Grundy County. Cost $1,497,500. Utility extension of the water and sewer utilities will enable the Grundy County Housing Authority to construct in partnership with other development authorities housing units for federally qualified senior residents in need of senior subsidized housing units. This request extends the water and sanitary utilities from their end points to accommodate these new senior dwelling units.

Water main replacements in Hennepin. Cost $510,000. With this funding the Hennepin Water District will replace transite (asbestos-cement) watermains with PVC watermains in the commercial area in Hennepin.

Wate tower replacement in Tiskilwa. Cost $500,000. This project will replace the old and undersized concrete tank that is buried on top of a hill, on the west side of the town, that is not easily accessible. With this water tower, water can more easily be distributed throughout the village with the use of the water pressure that water towers provide. This new tower will allow for easy access and will ensure the health and safety of the community, as it will ensure potable water and better fire protection.

Aquatic center renovation in Channahon. Cost $500,000. The Tomahawk Aquatic Center facility needs significant mechanical repairs to fix the critical issue of water loss. To repair the pipes a sizable portion of the concrete in the zero-depth entry area must be removed to replace the pipes. Another serious mechanical issue is in the two water heaters as one is the original heater to the facility and requires replacement as it is well beyond its life expectancy. New features benefitting the community include the addition of a 3,400 square foot spray pad play area for toddlers through pre-teens and a second body flume slide for teens and adults.

Sanitary sewer replacement in Spring Valley. Cost $441,619. The interceptor sewer is aging and too small for the capacity needed for the city’s needs. The pipe has blockages and failures that have led to combined sewer overflows into the Illinois River. Upsizing will allow for future expansion to Interstate 80, northwest of the city.

New greenhouse for Illinois Valley Community College. Cost $250,000. IVCC is in the process of developing a new agriculture campus to be located in the midst of its 153-acre IVCC Farm located on the southern edge of its main campus. Phase 1, completed in 2021, was the construction of a 6,000 square foot maintenance and storage building to house the IVCC Ag farm equipment. Phase II, now in the fundraising stage, will be the construction of an agriculture education center complete with lab and classroom space along with student collaborative space, faculty offices and conference space. The greenhouse will be located adjacent to the agriculture education center as it will be a vital component of the IVCC Ag Agronomy education program.

New fire turnout gear for the Compton Community Fire Protection District. Cost $23,345. This project would help cover the cost of nine new turn-out gear sets (coats and pants) for the volunteer firemen within the district. This new gear replacement is to provide gear that meets new safety requirements, as the old gear is 18 years old and out-of-date.