Peru wasn’t chosen for $6-$7 million FEMA grant to relocate substation

Project was in need of updates within next 18 months or so

The city of Peru was informed it did not receive its request for $6 million to $7 million in federal grant money to relocate a substation from Water Street out of a flood zone to Center Street.

The Peru substation, one of the main distributors of power within the city, is in need of updates within the next year to 18 months, according to City Engineer Eric Carls.

If the City Council doesn’t move forward on plans for the substation, Carls has said there is a high probability of impact for residents.

The project is estimated to be about $10 million and the grant would have paid up to 75% of it, said Finance Director Justin Miller. He said it was the second year in a row Peru has been passed up for the grant, despite improving its application based on recommendations from the previous year.

Mayor Ken Kolowski said he was told no one in Illinois received FEMA grant money.

Miller said the city will try again next year, but Alderman Mike Sapienza said the city will have to move forward on the project, which will likely mean borrowing money.

Carls had said at the July council meeting he didn’t want to create a public panic about the possibility of losing the substation. While the substation is in need of updates, there is no reason for residents to worry as long as the city moves forward with plans. The materials, however, will take materials 30 to 50 weeks after they are ordered to be received because of supply chain issues.