By Chris Johnson
Residents in the Village of Pecatonica have been receiving requests for their financial information in the form of a circulated letter asking for income ranges for their households.
It has been explained that all information collected is kept confidential and will remain that way.
It was further explained that all the information collected will be combined to complete a proposal to send to Springfield, which could mean millions of dollars might be released to spend in Pecatonica to make things a lot better underground, across town.
Citizen taxpayer’s available lifestyle-dollars have to be collected in document form and sent to Springfield. Data including how much each citizen on average gets to work with, each week, month and year forms a snapshot of overall resident financial strength.
In Pecatonica those statistics had shown that there wasn’t enough money available to pay for much of the work that has to be done on water mains, hydrants and even the municipal water tower
Currently, the village can only pay for a fraction of all the work that is needed. Village Trustees have already been notified that across town existed the risk that water lines leading to certain fire hydrants didn’t have the ability to actually knock down a fire and potentially protect a resident’s home.
In addition to nearly a million dollars being needed just to get the community water tower up to optimal operating condition and eliminate the risk of fines courtesy of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, millions more are needed to break ground and replace under-sized mains and water lines across the 150-year old village.
It was decided that the village had to ask for help from Springfield, Washington D.C. or anywhere else they could. They reached out to the engineer.
Village Engineer Jason Stoll reported that Fehr-Grahm would get the necessary paperwork in order and help the village attempt to ask for millions of dollars of “free money.”
That paperwork has to be in soon, Stoll explained, and a lot of people have to participate.
“900 or so is what we sent out. We need 80% returned in the target area and the target area needs to qualify based on income requirements.”
Stoll said in order to qualify for the grant, need must be proven. In the responses, total income must not exceed 51% low to moderate income. Additionally, he said, the response has to be overwhelming.
“And within those we send out we need 80% to respond to get a chance at a grant worth millions of dollars.”
If the needed amount of responses aren’t collected through the mail or through drop-off at Pecatonica Village Hall, Stoll said his company will take the campaign on the road.
“If the mailers haven’t been returned by the time they need to be, we will go door to door.”
All the paperwork must be completed and the application for the funds must me completed in August.
Village Officials say they are asking the residents to help out and fill out the needed paperwork with the filing deadline a little over a month away.
If the grant-issuers deem the Village of Pecatonica worthy of investment dollars, notification of success will be made, according to representatives with the Pecatonica Village Board.

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