March 30, 2023

Sen. Duckworth secures $750K for Sesser sewer improvements

Source: Southern Illinoisan


Sesser is getting $750,000 from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency to help the community rehabilitate its aging sanitary sewer system. The funds were secured by Sen. Tammy Duckworth as part of Congressionally Directed Spending funding allocations within the federal infrastructure bill.

Mayor Jason Ashmore said he expects to receive the funds in the coming weeks and added that his goal is to have the project completed by the end of the year.

He said the project will allow the community to replace seven blocks of sewer mains.

“This is help our continuation of replacing our waste water system, which dates back to the 1920s and '30s,” Ashmore said. “This not only helps our residential areas but also our commercial buildings. In the long run, this will aid economic development because you have to have good infrastructure to attract businesses to your community."

He expressed gratitude to Duckworth for her aid in securing funding.

“When it comes to waste water and clean water efforts in the Senate, she’s renowned for that,” Ashmore said. “Her office has stayed in touch with us during this entire process.”

According to Duckworth, in 2014, Sesser received an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency notice of violation from overflow at the sewage treatment plant, causing a health and safety threat to residents. Ashmore said the aging system has been problematic for many years.

“It’s so old that it gets lots of rainwater in it and infiltrates our waste water system which puts a strain not only on the system itself, but also on people,” he said.

The grant is part of $182 million secured for Illinois infrastructure spending for fiscal year 2023 through Congressionally Directed Spending.

By:  Les O'Dell