U.S. Representative Underwood is reviewing three projects in La Salle County for community funding – Shaw Local

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, announced the 15 projects in the 14th District selected to be considered for community project funding in the upcoming 2025 budget, including projects in La Salle, Ottawa and Oglesby.

If funded, the project will ensure access to safe and reliable drinking water, improve access to healthcare in rural areas, prevent job exploitation, help residents find work, provide vulnerable populations with access to essentials such as shelter and food, and Parent-students support foster care options in northern Illinois by providing affordable children, Underwood said in a news release.

Under the representative's plan, the city of Oglesby would receive $928,000 for its clean water project. This funding will help replace 2,100 feet of water mains in Oglesby that are damaged by lead and/or asbestos cement. The pipes pose significant risks to the public and replacing them will ensure clean drinking water, protect public health and safety, and provide long-term cost savings to the community.

The Illinois Valley Food Pantry would receive $750,000 under its plan. This funding will help the food bank expand its refrigeration and storage capacity so it can serve more families in the community. The pantry serves approximately 500 families each month and the pantry is full.

Illinois Valley Public Action to Deliver Shelter, homeless shelter in Ottawa, would receive $1,250,000 to build a new 11,264-square-foot shelter. This new facility will feature a kitchen, expanded male and female dormitories, single bedrooms with private bathrooms, six family rooms, increased office and storage space, a designated children's area, two larger bathrooms with showers, and a spacious multi-purpose classroom. With more than double the space and beds, this new facility will help Giving Hope A Home serve more people in our community and provide essential services.

“Ensuring that the needs of our community are reflected in federal funding has always been a top priority for me in Washington,” Underwood said in a news release. “Our families will feel the enormous impact of these 15 projects every day. We ensure our drinking water throughout Northern Illinois is clean and safe. Improving access to quality health care in rural communities, providing parents with affordable child care options, helping residents find good jobs, and more. I look forward to working with my colleagues to bring these federal funds home.”

Community Project Funding is an initiative that allows members of Congress to request direct funding for projects that benefit the communities they represent, coupled with strict transparency and ethics requirements. Projects are limited to a limited number of federal funding streams and only state and local governments and eligible nonprofit organizations may receive funding. In accordance with House rules and committee requirements, Underwood has confirmed that she and her immediate family have no financial interest in any of the selected projects.

Anna Harden

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