Sunday, June 23, 2024

Ottawa awarded $1.2M grant for sewer separation

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Ottawa is one of 32 communities in the state to receive a portion of $41 million from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Community Development Block Grants, announced Thursday.

The city will receive $1,247,792 that, according to Mayor Robb Hasty, will help defray the cost of the separation of wastewater and storm water sewer lines throughout the community.

The work is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hasty said the separation on the South Side is virtually done, with Prospect Street being finished up in the next few weeks.

That means the bulk of the new grant will go to the portion on the near west side, on Canal Street between Washington and Madison streets. That part just is getting started, he said, and should be completed some time early next year, weather permitting.

The project in its entirety should take a couple of years, the mayor said, and will cost $1.5 million, with the city’s share being $300,000.

The North Central Illinois Council of Governments helped to obtain the grant.

“The NCICG has been pretty successful in getting grants like this for us,” Hasty said. “This is a grant that we strive for every year because this is a project that has to be done for the EPA. The separation of water and sewer is a big federal movement and it’s a heck of a lot easier to do this with state dollars instead of our own.

“There are still a lot of neighborhoods to go … As far as our progress, it’s going well. I don’t think we could be moving any faster. These are expensive things for us to be doing, but as long as we have consistent movement, it’s a good thing. We’re always wanting to protect the environment.”

The grants are to support critical repairs to water, sewer and drainage infrastructure and enhance the safety and quality of life for Illinois residents. The work includes the construction of storm sewer pipes, waterline replacements, storage tank construction and other projects that help mitigate flooding and support sewage management, water delivery and other water-related necessities.

“The CDBG Grant Program plays an essential role in ensuring families across Illinois have access to high-quality sewer and water infrastructure that improves the quality of life,” DCEO Director Kristin Richards wrote in the news release announcing the awards. “This funding will support the critical repairs provided through the CDBG grant program and have a long-lasting impact on our communities that need it most.”

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