City receives sewer grant funding


More than $500,000 awarded to Hub City

ROCHELLE — If you’ve lived in the “Hub City” long enough, you know the areas in town which have chronic water issues.

Help is on its way, though, for one neighborhood. City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh announced that the city was the recipient of $550,000 which will go toward the sanitary sewer system in the Meadowland Drive and Turkington Terrace.

The system requires attention and the work will be done from the inside, with the goal to seal off the pipes so groundwater and rainwater doesn’t infiltrate the sewer system.

Rochelle was awarded the maximum amount allowed of $550,000, many other communities received less. Preference was given for projects located in underserved areas, opportunity zones and those which proposed a non-state matching component to drive the maximum investment to the area.

Fiegenschuh explained that the grant is a two-fold win, the much-needed work will be completed and it because it’s a grant it saves Rochelle Municipal Utility customers money.

According to Gov. JB Pritzker’s office, a total of $18.2 million will be awarded to 34 communities across the state, enabling cities and towns in non-metropolitan areas to make repairs to shared water and sewer infrastructure that will enhance safety and quality of life for those who live there.

Public infrastructure grants are designed to provide communities with funding to improve public infrastructure and eliminate conditions detrimental to public health, safety and public welfare.

Since the public infrastructure grants began, nearly $470 million has been distributed to 1,654 communities around the state. Public infrastructure program repairs can help alleviate the price consumers pay on their monthly bills, with inadequate or poor-performing sewage systems driving up the cost of sanitary sewer collection and treatment in many cases. 

The cost of maintaining public infrastructure is one of the largest budget items for any community.

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