Knox Officials Attempt to Secure Funding Assistance for Wastewater Treatment Plant Project

Knox City officials are once again applying for a Community Development Block Grant through OCRA’s Wastewater Drinking Water program to help fund an improvement project at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Kankakee Iroquois Regional Planning Commission (KIRPC) is serving as the grant writer and administrator for this project. KIRPC Community Development Planner Emily Albaugh attended Tuesday night’s Knox City Council meeting and presented some information during the public hearing over the grant application.

She informed council members that this grant application will differ from the initial one since they’re now permitted to apply for even more funding.

She explained that in the past, the grant amount was based on the project size and the municipality’s single utility user rate. However, Albaugh said a change was made after the CBDG Program Director reviewed the language and revised the understanding.

Albaugh shared, “It’s still justified based on your project size but it’s also based on a combined utility rate. That actually made the City of Knox eligible for an additional 100,000 so instead of a $600,000 grant, you’re now applying for a $700,000 grant.”

Albaugh said the total project cost is $ 1,972,770. She added that this time around, there is less of a local match requirement. She said when they were originally applying for $600,000 the local match was $1.3 million dollars. With the shift, their local match is now approximately $1.2 million.

She said the required match is exactly $1,272,770 and will be comprised of bond funds as well as “cash on hand” from various sewer utility accounts.

The KIRPC rep also reminded members what this funding will pay for at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

She explained, “So we are working on an improvement project to the head works and to the pre-treatment system so looking at grit removal and some other components that are just going to make the pre-treatment process a little bit smoother and more efficient for [Wastewater Superintendent] Kelly Clemons and her team.”

The project is also expected to reduce the equipment’s exposure to elements that could contribute to issues developing further down the line.

Albaugh mentioned that final application will be submitted on Friday, November 30th and she expects the award announcement to be made in mid-January.

Once the hearing was closed, council members went on to consider two resolutions related to the grant.

The first resolution authorized the application submission and guaranteed the City’s local match. The second one stated that the local match will be partially funded with bond money. Council members approved both resolutions unanimously.