Local communities land water project loans

Dixon, Rock Falls, Morrison, Polo among recipients

SPRINGFIELD – Eight local communities have received loans, and loan forgiveness, for water infrastructure improvements.

Among the loan recipients are Dixon, which will receive $2,162,838; Rock Falls, $1,382,307; and Polo, $2,653,864.

Others communities receiving loans are Mt. Carroll, $626,048; Savanna, $1,500,000; Milledgeville: $3,099,010; Morrison, $1,614,408; and Steward, $761,000.

They are a slice of the $571 million in water infrastructure loans the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will issue to local governments and water districts for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023, which runs from April to June 2023. The Illinois EPA State Revolving Fund Program provides low-interest loans that fund wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water projects.

“The Illinois EPA’s robust State Revolving Fund allows us to provide communities with the essential funding needed to upgrade, repair, or replace aging water infrastructure,” Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John J. Kim said when announcing the loans. “This funding represents clean drinking water for Illinois residents, technology to reduce environmental impacts from stormwater and wastewater, and the creation of good-paying local jobs.”

The projects

Dixon’s funding will install a total of 4,715 linear feet of water main ranging from 4 inches to 12 inches. The project includes all related appurtenances and will allow the city to upgrade its water distribution system to continue to provide safe and reliable drinking water to customers, according to an IEPA news release.

Appurtenance is a general term used to describe valves, fire hydrants, meters and other items.

Rock Falls will install about 2,458 linear feet of water main and all related appurtenances. The city’s water system was originally constructed in 1885, with some of the existing water mains more than 100 years old. Replacing water mains will increase system pressure and reduce the amount of unaccounted-for water use.

Polo will complete the drilling, developing, and connecting of well No. 5 to the water system. The project includes a submersible pump, the construction of a well building, installation of a feed system with necessary piping, controls, appurtenances, and the installation of water main. The project will enable the city to continue delivering safe drinking water to the residents of Polo.

Morrison will install about 4,923 lineal feet of water main along Illinois 78, Hilltop Drive, Coralyn Drive and between Genesee Avenue and Prairie View Court.

Steward will replace 2,390 feet of water main and 770 feet of 1-inch service line along with all hydrants, fixtures and appurtenances associated with these lines. This is the first phase of a project replacing portions of an aged water distribution system, including parts dating to 1909.

In Carroll County, Mt. Carroll will construct water main along East State Street and Clay Street. The project will also include all related appurtenances and restoration. Completion of this project will provide improved water quality and increased water pressure throughout the distribution system, especially in the northwest corner of the city. It also is aimed at correcting deterioration and numerous water main breaks the city has experienced within the aging water system. Savanna will replace two deteriorated lift stations, on Oakton Road and Wacker Road. Residences served by these lift stations are experiencing sewage backups. The Oakton Road lift station will be upgraded with two new pumps. The Wacker Road lift station will be upgraded with two new pumps and will have a stand-by generator installed for emergency power.

Milledgeville will use the funds for work at the wastewater treatment plant, including replacing aging components, improving trickling filters and clarifiers, installing a dome on the final clarifier, constructing a waste sludge lift station, replacing motor controls, and wiring in buildings, and replacing the stand-by generator switch. The wastewater treatment plant processes are aging and deteriorating; these improvements are to provide a treatment system that is reliable and able to maintain compliance with state and federal regulations. The village will install 556 water meters, a meter reading system and other related appurtenances. This project will allow the village to improve water distribution infrastructure for better accounting and water use billing.

More than $53 million in loan forgiveness was also provided to recipients meeting the loan rules for either the Small Community Rate or Hardship Rate.

Local communities receiving loan forgiveness and their amounts are:

Dixon, $1,081,419

Milledgeville, $1,394,554

Morrison, $807,204

Mount Carroll, $313,024

Polo, $1,250,000

Rock Falls, $691,153

Savanna, $675,000

Steward, $380,500

Illinois EPA’s SRF includes two loan programs, the Water Pollution Control Loan Program, which funds both wastewater and stormwater projects, and the Public Water Supply Loan Program for drinking water projects. Both programs provide funding at an interest rate of 1.24% for state fiscal 2023. These SRF programs receive federal capitalization funding annually, which is combined with state matching funds, interest earnings, repayment money, and periodic bond sale proceeds, to form the source of financing for infrastructure projects. The state matching funds for state fiscal 2020-2024 are being provided through the Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, thus increasing the funding capacity of both loan programs.

In total for fiscal 2023, Illinois EPA issued more than $803 million in low-interest loans for water infrastructure. In addition to the SRF loans, Illinois provided almost $54 million in funding for lead service line replacement over the last 12 months.

Shaw Local News Network

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