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Lost ... and found!

LAMOILLE – After Hurricane Ike hit in September 2008 and caused damaging winds and significant flooding throughout the state, Bureau County was among many listed as a disaster area and qualified for financial assistance.

The village of LaMoille sought a grant through a disaster recovery program and were told they were receiving a chunk of money. However, the village never actually got that money.

Village President Steve Stouffer remembers being a board member back when the board received the grant but never saw the money. Since his term began as village president, he decided to step up and figure out what exactly the hold up was on that money.

With a few phone calls and following up with officials, it was unclear what exactly had happened, but he was able to, once again, secure the monies for the village to completely fund a new storm sewer project.

“What I said when I became mayor was that if I can keep the basements dry and the water rates down, everyone should stay happy,” he said.

The village is now on its way to receiving federal funds worth $749,819, which is being released by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

The money will be used to construct about 9,029 feet of storm sewers, ranging in diameter from 12 to 36 inches throughout the village and surrounding areas.

Stouffer expressed how much it means to the village to still be able to receive this opportunity.

“We will take all the free money we can get because being such a small village we could never afford a project like this,” he said. “We’re barely keeping our heads above water.”

Stouffer explained the village has had some hard times when there’s been heavy rains. He explained the current storm sewer system the village uses is about 50 to 75 years old.

“The tiles are just not big enough to drain the water, and that’s the main reason why everyone gets water in their basements whenever there is a rain,” he said. “We’ve got so many basements that flood.”

According to a notice, the storm sewers will discharge to Pike Creek. A portion of the proposed project would be in the 100-year floodplain of the creek. The village has determined the project will have no significant impact on the human environment.

The village is currently undergoing a required environmental study in the wetlands before the project kicks-off. Stouffer anticipates the project to begin sometime this fall, after the village engineer seeks bids.

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