Underwood Announces That $7.5 Million in 14th District Water Infrastructure Projects Advance in House of Representatives

June 29, 2021
Press Release
Underwood-sponsored projects would bring federal dollars to improve 14th District water infrastructure priorities in Joliet, Pingree Grove, and Richmond

WASHINGTON—Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) announced that $7.5 million in federal investment for 14th District water infrastructure projects has advanced in the House of Representatives. Underwood’s sponsored projects would deliver federal resources to improve drinking water infrastructure in the 14th District communities of Joliet, Pingree Grove, and Richmond. After they are approved by the House Appropriations Committee, the projects will advance to the full House of Representatives for approval.

“There is nothing more foundational to a healthy community than clean, reliable drinking water. I’m pleased that $7.5 million for crucial projects in Joliet, Pingree Grove, and Richmond has advanced in the House of Representatives. I’ll continue to push for these priorities and more to help the people of the 14th District thrive,” said Underwood.

The following projects, formally called Community Project Funding (CPF) requests, advanced in the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. CPF is a new initiative for Fiscal Year 2022 that allows Members of Congress to request direct funding for projects that benefit the communities they represent. Underwood submitted ten projects for consideration overall; similar decisions on her remaining seven projects are expected in the coming weeks. 

PROJECT SPONSOR: City of Joliet  
LOCATION: 150 West Jefferson Street, Joliet, IL 60432  

AMOUNT FUNDED: $3,500,000 
PURPOSE/JUSTIFICATION: This funding would be used to replace aged, leaking water mains in the City of Joliet’s distribution system in order to reduce non-revenue water. The project is part of the City’s Alternative Water Source Program, which is developing a new Lake Michigan water source to replace the City’s existing groundwater source. Declining water levels make the aquifer unsustainable as a long-term water source for Joliet and its surrounding communities, and the aquifer will no longer be able to meet the City’s demands by 2030. This water main replacement project is required in order for the City of Joliet to transition to using Lake Michigan as its water source. 

PROJECT SPONSOR: Village of Pingree Grove  
LOCATION: 555 Reinking Road, Pingree Grove, IL 60140  
AMOUNT FUNDED: $3,500,000 
PURPOSE/JUSTIFICATION: This funding would be used to construct a new water treatment facility and production well. Currently, a single water treatment facility services the Village’s population of approximately 10,000 residents. This project is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because construction of a second water treatment facility will create redundancy in the system that is critical to the proper operation and maintenance of the facilities serving the population. Without a second water treatment facility, the Village expects it would not be able to supply constituents with suitable drinking water should there be a failure at the existing water treatment facility. Further, the present situation does not permit adequate time to perform maintenance on facility equipment, as the plant cannot be shut down for more than a few hours without risking impacts to the drinking water supply.    

PROJECT SPONSOR: Village of Richmond  
LOCATION: 5600 Hunter Drive, Richmond IL 60071  
AMOUNT FUNDED: $560,800 
PURPOSE/JUSTIFICATION: This funding would be used to rehabilitate two aging water towers, which serve as the residents of the Village of Richmond. Recent inspections of the towers revealed blight and decaying conditions that potentially pose a threat to public health and safety; therefore, restoration is critical and an appropriate use of taxpayer funds. Further delay in the water tower restoration could result in water quality violations and service disruptions, which may impact emergency fire department water supply. 

Additional information on Underwood-sponsored projects in the 14th District selected for Community Projects Funding (CPF) through the Committee on Appropriations can be found here.