Funding for B-N infrastructure advances Senate Appropriations Committee
Around $4 million in water and sewage system improvements for the Bloomington-Normal area is included in funding proposals that have advanced past the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Democratic U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, a committee member, and Tammy Duckworth said in a news release that including funding for both the Twin Cities and Illinois projects overall had been accomplished "despite the significant — and avoidable — funding constraints we were under."
The three projects for the Bloomington-Normal community were included in a draft bill allocating funding for the Interior, Environment and other, related agencies.
For the multiphase sewer separation project at Locust Street and Colton Avenue in Bloomington, $2 million has been allocated for the city government. The project is aimed at preventing "overflows, sewer backups and flooding of homes and area waterways," according to the release.
Funding for a new pump station and force main for the Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District is set for $950,000. The money would fund a project to improve "aging and non-compliant" sewage treatment lagoons in the Clearview Sanitary District — a subdivision of about 44 homes near Brigham School south of Interstate 74 in Bloomington. That funding would be part of a larger effort within the district overall to modernize the treatment center.
Uptown Normal would be set to receive a little over $1.5 million for infrastructure that would help prevent flooding in the area. In previous interviews, Normal Mayor Chris Koos said the infrastructure in that area was "more than adequate" when it was developed in the early 2000s.
Now, "we're getting 100-150-year rains every year," he said. "We were having a problem with flooding in the hotels, Watterson Towers where 2,200 students live."
Koos gave those comments earlier this year.
The appropriations will be included in a draft budget that still needs the full approval of the Senate.
The announcement from Durbin and Duckworth's offices comes after a U.S. House subcommittee approved proposals to allocate $2 million to the Locust-Colton project. That request is now being considered by the full House Appropriations Committee. Funding for that project was requested in the House by Democrat Eric Sorensen during a community project funding process in April. Sorensen also requested $960,000 for the Uptown Normal sewer extensions.
The Locust-Colton project, according to the City of Bloomington's website, is set to be completed by the end of April 2025.
Improvements to the BNWRD are currently estimated to cost around $300 million and are split among 15 separate projects staggered over 15-35 years.
Charlie Schlenker contributed reporting.