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HUD grants awarded

PRINCETON — The Bureau County Housing Authority has received $280,030 in federal money for capital improvement projects for its Spring Valley and Princeton sites.

The Bureau County grant money is part of a $120 million grant program designated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for public housing authorities around Illinois, as announced Friday by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

The grants are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which provides funding annually to all public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities, Donovan said. The authorities use the funding to do large-scale improvements such as new roofs or to make energy-efficient upgrades.

On Friday, Bart Niemuth, executive director for the Bureau County Housing Authority, said this year’s money will be used to install a parking lot for tenants on the property directly north of the Princeton High Rise and also to upgrade the fire alarm systems at the Spring Valley High Rise and Princeton High Rise. Another tentative project will be continued flooring work.

The proposed projects will go through the public notice process, and he will also meet with tenants to get their ideas of what is needed, Niemuth said.

This year’s grant money is about $10,000 more than what was received last year, Niemuth said.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, the Bureau County Housing Authority was established in 1947 and developed through the years into a public housing agency, with the Spring Valley and Princeton high rise buildings built in 1969. The Bureau County Housing Authority currently manages 281 housing units and also oversees 67 leases in the private market.

In addition to the Bureau County Housing Authority, other similar agencies receiving HUD funding for capital improvements included the Housing Authority of LaSalle County at $1,226,318; Lee County Housing Authority at $203,195; and the Whiteside County Housing Authority at $405,441.

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