By Christopher Johnson

An adjustment as to how things should be done was required as the Village of Pecatonica looked to lock down its shot at picking up a lot of money to put towards concerns with aging infrastructure.

According to a representative with Village Engineer Fehr Grahm, and as presented during the Special Meeting of the Pecatonica Village Board this past week, a non-matching Grant Application was filed ahead of deadline.

If successful, that could mean nearly $1,000,000 in “free money’ might be received for use in Pecatonica.

Deadlines were in place, however, and if the Village was going to get into the mix on time, a filing had to occur, even before the Public Hearing could be held.

The Grant Application had to be filed and getting a lot of people together to hold a Public Hearing was deemed preferably-avoidable at this time of COVID-19 influence.

A guarantee of continuing the process of citizen awareness was offered by Village President Bill Smull during the Tuesday night Special get together.

A date of Wednesday, Oct. 12 was offered as the preferred time for discussion for the temporarily-bypassed Public Hearing in pursuit of the Grant funding.

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Sewer-lining Grant application was submitted “without proof of publication or other public hearing. It had to be done that way this time, as explained by the community’s Chief Executive Officer.

Smull said getting the required Public Hearing held ahead of the filing deadline couldn’t occur.

“Because of COVID-19 we had to cancel the Public Hearing for the Grant. I made a call down there (Springfield) and we submitted our application ahead of the Public Hearing, which would happen on Oct. 12.”

Work towards securing the multi-leveled Grants, which total nearly $1,000,000, with limited liability, has been a focus through many recent Fiscal Years. The process has been extensive, as described.

The Grant of greatest opportunity is listed at nearly $550,000 on its own and carries no matching requirements.

A second filing deadline was also reached, in pursuit of a venture with the ReBuild Illinois Grant.

If both Grants were awarded to the Village of Pecatonica that would mean up to $990,000 could be given to put towards the identified infrastructure improvement projects.

Municipalities across the State of Illinois are all competing for the available Grants though. Pecatonica does not stand alone as it looks to secure needed funding.

When the details were explained, it was stressed that if awards are given, there will be an $11,000 matching obligation for the Village of Pecatonica.

That contribution would be added to the total project’s scope, bringing the spending mark to a total in excess of $1,000,000 for improvements.

With the uncertainty of determining which small communities end up getting the “free money” existing, it could be until the early part of 2021 before notifications of success or denial are received.

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