U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) on Thursday announced more than $6.6 million in grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support the expansion of broadband and improvements to drinking water infrastructure in Jo Daviess, Rock Island and Henry counties.
“Since day one, I’ve been focused on bringing federal resources back to our communities – from our largest cities to our smallest villages,” Bustos said in a Thursday release. “I’m thrilled to announce today that three counties in Northwest and Central Illinois will be receiving more than $6.6 million in grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand high-speed internet access and improve drinking water infrastructure for our residents and businesses. This is how we build back better.”
The new funding will go to:
- Jo Daviess County: Jo-Carrol Energy in Elizabeth, Ill., will receive $2,347,300 in grants for rural broadband expansion from the Community Connect program. Funds will be used to construct a 41-mile fiber-to-the premises system, benefiting the rural Jo Daviess County service area. A Community Center will also be established in a mobile building placed in the service area, where residents can access the internet free of charge for at least two years.
- Rock Island County: The village of Carbon Cliff will receive a $2,270,000 loan to improve drinking water infrastructure from the Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants program. Funds will be used to construct a new water treatment plant that will use reverse osmosis to remove radium from the Village’s existing deep well water sources to alleviate a health and sanitary issue.
- Henry County: The village of Andover will receive a $1,734,000 loan and $250,000 grant to improve drinking water infrastructure from the Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants program. Funds will be used to drill a new well as a second water source and replace the gas chlorine system at the water treatment plant with a sodium hypochlorite system where new chemical feed pumps will be installed. This project will improve the village’s water system to better serve their residents.
Community Connect Program: The Community Connect Program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide broadband service in rural, economically-challenged communities where service does not exist. Rural areas that lack any existing broadband speed of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream are eligible. More information on the program can be found here.
Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants Program: The Water and Waste Disposal Loans and Grants program provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. More information on the program can be found here.