Governor Pat Quinn announced another Illinois Clean Water Initiative (CWI) yesterday in Rockford, Illinois. The CWI in Rockford will invest more than $15 million dollars to overhaul and repair local sewer systems and is expected to create nearly 190 jobs. The project will connect the Village Of Winnebago to the larger and better equipped Rock River Water Reclamation District (RRWRD) treatment plant. The investment will help the RRWRD complete significant upgrade and repair work that is needed to reduce area sewer backups.
The visit to Rockford was one of four visits by the Governor around the state of Illinois. Governor Quinn had been under criticism by Democratic leaders outside of the Chicago area who say he hasn’t paid the rest of the state enough attention and is too Chicago-centric.
Early in the morning yesterday, Governor Quinn welcomed the Stanley Cup back to the state’s capitol at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, as it returns to celebrate the Chicago Blackhawks’ second NHL Championship win in four seasons.
In late morning yesterday, Governor Pat Quinn made what he called a “major grant announcement that will help improve higher education in Central Illinois while creating thousands of construction jobs for the state’s workers.” That was held in Peoria at Bradley University.
Sticking with his “education” theme,” Governor Pat Quinn made another “major grant announcement that will help improve higher education in the Quad Cities area while creating thousands of construction jobs for the state’s workers.” This one was held at Augustana College in Rock Island.
Quinn ended the day announcing these two more projects in the Illinois Clean Water Initiative (CWI), this one in Rockford. The Illinois CWI is part of a $1 billion dollar water initiative with the help of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Water infrastructure is a key for job creation and economic development,” Governor Quinn said. “By making these critical upgrades, we can create jobs and make sure that everyone in Winnebago County can avoid sewer problems that hamper regional development.”
Last October, Governor Pat Quinn launched a $1 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative (CWI), which will overhaul Illinois’ aging water infrastructure. At that time, Governor Quinn was joined by then-EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, many labor leaders, environmental activists and local government officials. Since that time, the governor has announced several CWI projects. The last water project announced by Governor Quinn was in Decatur, Illinois. That project invested $13 million dollars to rehabilitate and modernize the “Decatur Sewer System and Wastewater Treatment Plant.”
The first loan of the governor’s Illinois Clean Water Initiative was a $4.8 million dollar loan awarded to the city of Pekin to improve a wastewater treatment plant in December. Governor Quinn addressed the 2012 American Water Summit in November as he discussed the Illinois’ Clean Water Initiative projects.
Governor Quinn told the American Water Summit that “No matter where they live, everyone in Illinois needs access to safe, clean water,” Governor Quinn said. “The Clean Water Initiative will ensure that we protect this precious state resource. By modernizing our water infrastructure, we can create tens of thousands of jobs and safeguard our waterways for generations to come.”
Another $21.5 million investment for a major upgrade was granted this past April to the town of Kankakee. A major upgrade of the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency (KRMA) wastewater treatment plant is projected to create more than 600 construction jobs in the area.
Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) attended and addressed the press conference in Kankakee last April in which the project was announced. Kankakee is a part of the 2nd Illinois Congressional district and Rep. Robin Kelly is committed to helping to revitalize Kankakee and all parts of her congressional district.
“I fully support the Clean Water Initiative’s project to upgrade the KRMA Wastewater Treatment Plant” U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) said. “This project is not only critical to preserving the vitality of the river and the supply of clean drinking water for residents, it will also serve as a much-needed economic engine for the region, creating more than 2,800 direct and indirect jobs.”
The project in Rockford will entail constructing four new lines that will connect Winnebago’s wastewater system to the larger and more modern RRWRD treatment plant. Winnebago’s current wastewater treatment plant is in need of a total upgrade for it to remain in service. This investment will eventually allow it to be decommissioned, which will mean improved sewer service and lower costs for Winnebago residents.
RRWRD will also receive a $2.2 million low-interest CWI loan that will supplement its aggressive sewer lining and repair program that is decreasing sewer backups for area residents each year. This funding will allow RRWRD to accelerate its program and target a critical 12-mile section of deteriorated sewers that help further prevent basement backups. RRWRD maintains a 1,100 mile sewer network across Winnebago County.
“This CWI funding is critical to helping RRWRD better serve Winnebago County,” RRWRD Director Steve Graceffa said. “New lines will serve areas that currently do not have sanitary sewer, and this pipeline will ultimately eliminate an out of date wastewater treatment plant.”
“These projects will help our members support their families and make our communities strong,” said Brad Long, president of the Northwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council. “I want to thank Governor Quinn for recognizing that critical infrastructure investments put people to work and raise the quality of life for everyone who lives near them.”
“These projects have been a top priority of Governor Quinn and our agency,” Lisa Bonnett, director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) said. “Effective wastewater treatment is key to our efforts to protecting environmental and human health and the residents of Winnebago County will reap enormous benefits when these projects are complete. Our agency is proud to work with so many of our local government partners to protect the environment and we want to encourage more communities to get more information about the CWI and how it could help their residents.”
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns. John is an unpaid volunteer and social media advisor at Robin Kelly for Congress.