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Stimulus money for water projects up for grabs in Kane County
By James Fuller | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 5/19/2010 12:02 AM

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Local benefits from the federal stimulus package may soon be exemplified by the water coming out of Kane County faucets or the lack of moisture seeping into basements.

Kane County received about $17 million in stimulus money that officials have decided to earmark for water-related projects. The money is in the form of Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds. The loans must be repaid. Any entity applying for the loan money through the county must enter into a contract with the county that guarantees a secure repayment mechanism, such as the creation of a special service area. Special service areas impose a fee or tax on residents directly benefiting from the project in order to pay for the project.

The county recently hosted a meeting for local communities to learn about the loans, how to qualify and invite them to apply. The result was 41 statements of interest in the money.

The county has not released information about the entities that expressed interest nor for which specific projects those entities want funding. In general, 15 of the applications involved water supply, water distribution or water treatment projects. Another 15 projects involve stormwater and flood relief projects. The final 11 applications involve wastewater collection and treatment.

County staff will now weed through the applications because the $17 million it has is not enough to fund all the projects in the applications. The county will give preference to projects that provide the most overall benefit to the community and create or retain the most jobs.