FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10/15/2010
Marcelyn Love 217/558.1542
Alka Nayyar 312/814.0097

 State Economic Development Director Announces $4.3 Million for Flood Relief for Village of Machesney Park

State, Federal Support Critical to Assist and Protect Citizens

MACHESNEY PARK � Illinois economic development director Warren Ribley today announced $4.3 million for the Village of Machesney Park to acquire and demolish flood prone properties as part of the State�s Disaster Recovery Program.  The collaborative project between the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will support efforts to restore the community and mitigate future flood damage.

�This project brings state and federal agencies together to ensure we can help Machesney Park recover after devastating flooding, help strengthen the community, and minimize the impact of future flooding,� said DCEO director Warren Ribley.  �DCEO is pleased to work with IEMA to help Machesney Park residents regain solid ground for their homes and families.�

Winnebago County was declared a Federal Disaster Area after severe flooding in June 2008.  More than 600 Village homes were affected by three floods that year, causing streets to be under water and impassable for months.  Homeowners had to abandon their properties, face foreclosures, relocate to new homes that still faced flood problems, and pay two mortgages or rents.

�Many of our residents could not rebuild, and those that did were hit with more flooding this past year.  We needed a long-term solution to a situation that was dangerous and becoming expensive for the village and the homeowners,� said Machesney Park Mayor Tom Strickland.  �This funding will help us clear the floodplain to avoid rebuilding in an area that will continue to be hit by flooding and disaster.�

The funding, 75% provided by FEMA and IEMA, and 25% provided by a DCEO match through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Midwest Disaster Recovery Program, will enable the Village to acquire properties as part of its long-term plan.  The plan allows the removal of buildings in the flood plain, limits future damage, allows water storage, and prevents slum conditions in abandoned areas.

Director Ribley was joined by U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R), Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford), Rep. Dave Winters (R-Rockford), Machesney Park Mayor Tom Strickland, Winnebago County Board Representative Dave Peterson, Winnebago County Sheriff Richard Meyers, Salvation Army Social Services Director Connie Marquis, and residents and homeowners affected by flood damage.