Week-in-Review: August 3-7

Cairo Port Project gains momentum, receives $40 million in funding

The highly-anticipated Cairo Port project gained significant momentum this week as the State of Illinois announced the release of $4 million allocated to developing an inland river port.

On Aug. 4, State Senator Dale Fowler joined with state and local leaders to announce that $4 million of the $40 million allocated to the Alexander Cairo Port District from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan would be immediately awarded to fund engineering, permitting and site preparation at the new port.

“This project will have such an impact on our region, creating jobs, boosting our economy and creating opportunities in an area that has been overlooked and underestimated for far too long,” said Sen. Fowler. “Seeing the State make such a substantial investment in this crucial project is beyond encouraging. Southern Illinois, Cairo and this region have such potential, and I’m looking forward to seeing this project move forward.”

The port district is in discussion with several private investors who are interested in providing funding to complement the state investment. This public-private partnership capitalizes on the Cairo’s geographic location, situated at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. The location is ideally situated to allow the port site to become a major transportation hub in the Midwest. Approximately 80 percent of the nation’s inland barge traffic travels past Cairo, and the site is served by three major interstate highways and class 1 rail lines.

The project is also expected to create 500 direct jobs when the project is completed.

“This port project will generate jobs, create opportunities and attract businesses,” said Sen. Fowler. “It will go such a long way in revitalizing the region and I am so thankful to be able to make this project a reality for the people of Cairo and the rest of Southern Illinois.”

Local community colleges receive funding for critical capital projects

State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is announcing the release of funding for capital projects at two local community college facilities in the 59th Senate District.

​As part of the recently approved Fiscal Year 2020 capital budget, funds will be released to move forward on construction projects at John A. Logan Community College and Shawnee Community College.

John A. Logan Community College will receive $3,775,000 to begin the expansion of their west lobby project.

Shawnee Community College will receive $1,952,900 to begin the construction and renovation of a building center, and other capital improvements.

Boat Access Area Development Program accepting applications

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recently announced they are accepting applications as part of their Boat Access Area Development (BAAD) grant program.

According to IDNR, the grant program provides financial assistance to local government agencies for the acquisition, construction, and expansion and rehabilitation of public boat and canoe access areas on Illinois’ lakes and rivers.

In order to be eligible for the grant, local agencies must demonstrate the ability to finance the costs of an approved project prior to receipt of grant funds. The grant program can provide up to 100 percent reimbursement funding assistance on approved development project costs and 90 percent of approved land acquisition costs.  

The deadline to apply is Oct. 2, 2020. Interested applicants should click here.

IHDA Launches Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has developed the Emergency Rental Assistance program to support Illinois tenants who are unable to pay for rent due to a COVID-19-related loss of income. The program will provide Illinois renters a $5,000 grant that will be sent to their landlords.

The Emergency Rental Assistance program is expected to reach 30,000 renters that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and will run through December 2020, or until the available funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Applications for this program will be accepted from August 10 to August 21. ​It is advisable to start the application once available on Monday, August 10th at 9 a.m. due to high demand. Only one application per household is allowed and an application is not a guarantee of assistance. 

You can learn more about the program and how to apply at https://era.ihda.org/. If you have any questions, please call (312) 883-2270 or toll-free at (888) 252-1119. For those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, please contact Navicore Solutions for free assistance at (877) 274-4309 (TTY).​

Dale Fowler

Want to stay up to date with your Senator?

Sign up for the District E-Newsletter below: