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CHICAGO (WAND) - Governor JB Pritzker's office announced $25 million Fast-Track grants to help with infrastructure projects during the pandemic. 

The grant money will help support infrastructure projects and construction jobs for the summer. 

“I’m proud to announce we are moving forward with $25 million in DCEO grants to help local governments jumpstart public infrastructure projects for the summer construction season,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This will keep key public infrastructure projects in the pipeline, and support the return of skilled labor to job sites for the busy summer season. Starting today, local governments with shovel ready projects – including school districts, townships, and other entities – can apply for this funding.”

The Fast-Track program will use funding from Rebuild Illinois, the state's multi-year capital plan, for allocation to projects ready for summer construction. Fast-Track frontloads a portion of an existing Notice of Funding, to expedite funds available for grants ranging in size between $500,000 and $5 million. Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis, with projects submitted in underserved areas to be given priority.

“We recognize the unique challenge and burdens that COVID-19 is placing on us all, and we are taking steps to provide relief to businesses and communities,” said DCEO Director Erin Guthrie. "Through the Fast Track Public Infrastructure Grants Program, the administration will provide a much-needed boost for workers across the state as well as the critical infrastructure projects our state depends on."

These grants should help restart key projects that would have otherwise been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. Funds will be able to be used for expansions of water and sewer systems and reinvestment to modernize schools and other public buildings. 

“This program is about putting people back on the job now,” said Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea. “We applaud Gov. Pritzker for being proactive and innovative. The return of every dollar spent on public works is another brick in rebuilding our economy – both in terms of jobs created and economic development created by improved infrastructure.”

Once eligible the public entities and local governments should see their grant money in 90 days.  

To apply for the grants, please visit https://bit.ly/2xqjOad.

These Fast Track grants accelerate a portion of an ongoing $50 million Notice of Funding Opportunity for public infrastructure. Communities that need more time or that do not have projects that meet the shovel-ready criteria may submit an application to receive a grant for the remainder of the funds by June 30.

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