August 27, 2021

Duckworth updates Lake County municipal leaders on federal funds that may be headed their way

Source: Chicago Tribune


U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth discussed ways in which President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion American Recovery Act can help Lake County municipal governments, and also explained earlier this month how the Senate-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will directly impact northern Illinois communities.

Illinois is set to receive more than $13 billion in relief funding from the Biden plan, with Lake County municipalities being eligible to receive more than $87 million, she said.

Duckworth met with the Lake County Municipal League at the North Chicago Village Hall on Aug. 14, and her comments about potential funding were relayed in a report by Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit to the Village Board Tuesday.

“Under the American Rescue Plan, Fox Lake would get about $1.4 million … $700,000 this year, and the same amount next year,” Schmit said. “We’ll get funds from the infrastructure investment bill, and it contains a $3.5 trillion Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, which she sponsored, for lead pipe replacement that should be passed next year. She said the president’s goal is that every lead pipe in America be removed.

“We explained that we are bare bones for budgets … in that municipalities can’t afford to remove all lead piping,” Schmit continued. “When there are unfunded mandates, we have to cut services from other areas. There’s difficulty in dealing with the state to get funding, and communicating with them.

“Working together, you can accomplish so much more, and we wish Washington would take the same approach,” he said. “Decide an issue on right or wrong, and not along party lines.”

In addition to Schmit, those attending the county municipal league meeting included North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham Jr., Zion Mayor Billy McKinney, Wadsworth Village President Glenn Ryback, Volo Mayor Stephen Henley and Kildeer President Nandia Black.

In a statement, Duckworth said, “We know our local governments are hurting from the economic impact of COVID-19. It’s important (they) have the necessary resources to recover. I’ll keep … working to ensure we get a comprehensive infrastructure plan signed into law, so we can rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure … and upgrading our nation’s water systems.”

Should the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act be signed into law, Illinois is expected to receive at least $17 million in additional funding.

“She said to get all of our lead pipe service lines identified, so when the bill is approved we can jump on it,” Schmit said. “Our department of public works knows where most of them are. When we make repairs to the lines around town, we find them. We will be ready.”

By:  Gregory Harutunian