Watseka awarded $100,000 in Disaster Recovery Funds
The city of Watseka and Coal City are among 55 local governments sharing $6.2 million dollars for long-term disaster planning and recovery.
Watseka and Coal City are each recipients of $100,000 for their Comprehensive Plans.Three communities in LaSalle County are also awarded monies for updates to their Comprehensive Plans.LaSalle, Ottawa and Marseilles (Mar-sales) are IKE recipients.
The funding is made available through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).The program helps Illinois communities develop long-term disaster plans.
The “IKE” Disaster Recovery Planning program is named for Hurricane Ike, the 2008 disaster that ranks among the costliest hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S.
In partnership with the federal government, the DCEO grant awards allow communities to engage in comprehensive planning at the local and regional levels in order to guide long term recovery and redevelopment and to minimize future damage from natural disasters.Funds will support the development and adoption of forward-thinking community plans that reduce existing or future damage in disaster-risk areas.
The state Director, Adam Pollet, said "there's a great need for this kind of planning, especially in our small-and medium-sized communities where resources may be lacking."
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is sending $62 million to 55 communities around the state for use on disaster plans.
The department announced Thursday the money is part of the IKE Disaster Recovery Planning Program. The program was set up after remnants of Hurricane Ike caused destruction in towns around the state in 2008.
Communities have to apply for the grants with plans that will help prevent damage from future disasters and help with recovery from damage that could come.
The grants went to communities across the state. They ranged from the town of Arcola just south of Champaign to Ottawa and Streator in central Illinois and Rock Island in the northwest. Most grants were between $75,000 and $125,000.
The Illinois Department of Corrections plans to establish temporary quarters at the Danville Correctional Center and five other prisons for minimum-security inmates. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says plans to house inmates in prison gymnasiums is a direct result of plans to close the women’s prison in Dwight.
Gymnasiums at the prisons in Danville, Centralia, Canton, Vandalia, Vienna and Hillsboro will be temporarily serving as dormitory units for minimum security inmates.
Rick DePratt, President of AFSCME Local 2052 at the Danville Correctional Center, says the speculation is that another 100 inmates will be brought to the Danville prison.
DePratt noted that when the Danville Correctional Center opened its original capacity was 896 inmates. But now there are 1,840 to 1,870 inmates housed in Danville on a daily basis. And DePratt claimed ‘’the Department (DOC) is obviously not paying attention to the increase in violence and multiple staff assaults by adding more inmates and taking away gymnasiums where they get their recreational time.’’
DePratt says the plans to house minimum-security inmates at the medium-security prisons ‘’brings up a ton of safety issues.’’
DePratt also claims the move is going to put added stress on staff members while putting not only staff, but inmates, at extreme risk of being injured.