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Foster announces millions in federal money for Joliet area

Old Joliet Prison, old Joliet water mains benefit from spending bill

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster on Thursday announced millions in local funding, including $6 million for renovations at the Old Joliet Prison and a prospective housing development at the former Joliet Country Club.

The projects are in a spending bill that was approved by the House on Wednesday. The bill contains nearly $19 million for community projects in the 11th District, including Joliet water system improvements and plans made by local social service agencies.

“We have fought to get this through with many ups and downs,” Foster said Thursday.

But the spending plan appears to be headed for a relatively quick final approval through the Senate and on to President Biden for his signature by the end of Tuesday.

The local projects are part of a spending bill that needs to be approved by Tuesday to avoid a government shutdown.

Foster said there already is an “unofficial agreement” in place with the Senate to approve the spending bill passed by the House.

“We have heard no last-minute objections,” he said. “Because of the fact that this was pre-negotiated with Senate, I’m very optimistic.”

The 11th Congressional projects in the spending bill include:

• $3 million for the Joliet Area Historical Museum for building restoration and rehabilitation at the Old Joliet Prison, which the museum and city of Joliet have converted to a tour and destination site

• $3 million for the Housing Authority of Joliet and its plan to acquire the old Joliet Country Club to create an affordable housing community

• $3.5 million for the city of Joliet to replace aging water mains as part of the Lake Michigan water project

• $2 million for Stepping Stones, Inc. in Joliet, which plans to build an eight-unit apartment building for women receiving treatment for substance abuse and their children on its property near the corner of Plainfield Road and Theodore Street

• $1 million for Cornerstone Services in Joliet for construction of a Wellness Center to be used for offices, a fitness center, kitchen and meeting space

• $300,000 for the Will-Grundy Medical Clinic in Joliet for facility renovations

Foster announced 10 community projects in the 11th District that will receive funding from the bill.

Others are: $3 million for 360 Youth Services in Naperville; $1.6 million for Hesed House in Aurora; $425,000 for Quad County Urban League in Aurora; $975,000 for Tri-Council Development Fund in Aurora.