DALLAS CITY, Ill. -- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently awarded $15.3 million in grants for public infrastructure projects throughout the state.
Forty communities in 31 counties received the Community Development Block Grant. A Department of Commerce news release said the grants are meant to "help Illinois' low-income communities undertake much needed public infrastructure projects." The projects focus primarily on water, sanitary systems and sewer upgrades.
Hancock County cities Carthage, Dallas City and Warsaw received almost $1.5 million.
"This is a pretty large sewer project we've been looking at for quite a while," said Dallas City Mayor Kevin Six. "It's been on the books as needing to be done since before I took office three years ago."
Dallas City will put the $450,000 it received toward repairs of sewer lines and the replacement of a section at East 4th Street.
"It's really sad and needs replaced," Six said of the section. "This is something we had every intention of going through with even without the grant, but receiving this grant is amazing."
Dallas City applied for the grant last year and had been awaiting a response. Six said the $450,000 accounted for in the grant would have come from a loan if the city had not been named a recipient.
"The grant will cover not quite half of the project, but close," Six said. "The toilets on the main part of 4th Street are pretty iffy. They will see 100 percent improvement."
Warsaw will also put the funds toward a sewer system improvement. The city will expand its sewer system in the southwest corner of the city, where there are no lines.
"With the homes in the city, there is no more space for a septic system," Warsaw Mayor Mike Heisler said. "This project will serve the people already on that land and will make it easier to build in the future."
The CDBG is a matching grant, although it is not a one-to-one match. Warsaw contributed $175,000 and received $417,044 from the grant, essentially a 30/70 split.
"We had to do preliminary engineering before we could apply. Now we are starting the surveying and planning process," Heisler said. "We couldn't do this project without the grant."
Carthage received $450,000 to be put toward its new water treatment facility.
To be considered for the grants, municipalities had to be 50,000 or less in population and could not be located in an urban county that receives entitlement program funds.