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Dinner honors 'communities on the move' in Illinois
ULLIN, Ill. -- Southern Illinois communities have shared in an economic windfall during the past year, almost $10 million ranging from a $130,000 grant for library building renovations at Mounds, Ill., to the more than $2.7 million for SouthWater Inc. water service improvement.
SouthWater representatives joined delegates from several Southern Illinois communities last week for a ceremony to recognize communities, organizations and individuals on the move in the Southernmost Illinois Delta Empowerment Zone (SIDEZ).
More than 200 people involved with SIDEZ attended the "Communities on the Move" banquet, held at Shawnee Community College.
The banquet, sponsored by SIDEZ and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development, really had a dual purpose, said Jim Gage of Rural Development's Tamms, Ill., office.
"We wanted to recognize what these communities have accomplished in tackling all these improvements. It's also a celebration that we're able to return some tax dollars to our rural areas," he said.
SIDEZ's territory includes parts of Alexander, Johnson and Pulaski counties, which include some of the region's poorest communities.
SouthWater received a USDA grant and a loan for expansion of its water system in parts of Alexander, Union and Pulaski counties. SouthWater's funding is being used to install a new tank at the company's water treatment plant near Tamms in Alexander County, to provide standby generators and booster stations and to add an additional 110 users in the Perks area of Pulaski County.
The Thebes water system, in place more than 70 years, received a grant for more than $750,000 to overhaul the system. The project will include new pipes, new water mains and a new water tank. Thebes also received a grant to improve the historic courthouse.
Other communities and projects honored included:
Pulaski County Development Association, $355,000 for industrial park development.
Shawnee Community College, $55,100 for vineyard plot and pavilion construction, $38,500 for tractor-trailer purchase and $50,170 for an aquaculture instructor.
Pulaski County, $424,082 for courthouse renovation at Mound City, $445,000 for revolving loan fund assistance and $150,000 for ambulance facility development.
Johnson County 2000 Inc., $729,500 for industrial park construction.
Family Counseling Center, $1.1 million for assisted living facility development.
Delta Center Inc., $228,840 for a congregate housing renovations.
Village of Pulaski, $205,055 for community center construction.
Mounds, $130,000 for library renovations.
Johnson County, $750,000 to start a revolving loan fund.
Community Health and Emergency Services, Inc., $211,680 to design a critical care hospital.
Southern Five Regional Planning Commission, $845,125 to renovate area housing.
Southernmost Illinois Delta Empowerment Zone, $224,900 to create a revolving loan fund.