FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3/16/2012
Kelly Jakubek 312/814.8198

 State Economic Development Officials Announce $750,000 Grant to Improve Infrastructure in Franklin County

Federal CDAP Grant Will Support Reconstruction of Water Main, Alleviate Potential Life-Safety Hazard

WHITTINGTON, IL � Officials with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced a $750,000 federal Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) grant to Franklin County on behalf of the Rend Lake Conservancy District to assist with infrastructure improvements. The grant will go towards replacing a water main that lies underneath the Big Muddy swamp east of Buckner, Illinois, which will help alleviate a potential life and safety hazard for citizens in communities throughout Franklin County and surrounding areas.

�The Community Development Assistance Program is helping us make much-needed infrastructure improvements in many of our smaller communities,� Governor Quinn said. �This funding will help ensure businesses and families throughout Franklin County have access to clean, safe water and will help revitalize the local economy and create jobs.�

CDAP funds will be used to construct a bypass around the swamp area to provide permanent access to the water main for future repairs and to mitigate the risk of the loss of drinking water for an extended period of time. Due to the inaccessibility of the pipe, should this line break under the swamp, over 18,000 people would be without water for an extended period of time.

�By making investments in our infrastructure, we�re helping to make communities throughout the state even more attractive to investment and supporting economic growth throughout the state,� said DCEO Director Warren Ribley.

The 18-inch water main provides potable water and fire suppression to the Franklin County communities of Buckner, Christopher, Greenwood Creek Nation, Mulkeytown, North City, Valier, Sesser, Zeigler, Royalton, the Williamson County communities of Bush and Hurst, and to the Perry County communities of DuQuoin, St. Johns, and Tamaroa. The water system is owned and operated by the Conservancy District. Rend Lake Conservancy District will construct and maintain the bypass to ensure residents and businesses served by the District will have a secure and dependable source of drinking water.

�Tens of thousands of Southern Illinoisans rely on Rend Lake as their water source, and any interruption to that service could have devastating impacts,� Illinois State Senator Gary Forby (D�Benton) said. �These much-needed repairs will help improve the quality of life for the citizens of Franklin County and the entire region.�

�This project will help our citizens by ensuring the long-term protection of our water supply.  By performing this critical maintenance, future issues can be quickly remedied should a problem arise,� said Illinois State Representative Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg).

DCEO administers Illinois� CDAP program, which is known nationally as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and provides federal funding for a variety of community-based projects. Communities with populations of 50,000 or less can apply for CDAP grant funding to support a variety of projects.

Illinois' CDAP program supports communities with populations of 50,000 and fewer that are not located within a US Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-designated �entitlement community,� or one of the eight designated "entitlement" urban counties. For more information about CDAP and the state�s economic development programs, visit DCEO�s website at www.ilbiz.biz.