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Brookport gets $1.8 million for tornado aid

Staff report

Brookport and Massac County will receive a portion of $45 million in Illinois recovery aid for the November tornadoes that swept through the region.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced on Monday about $11.6 million of relief will soon be distributed to municipalities in Illinois, including $1.8 million for Brookport and $31,400 for Massac County. The funds will go toward repairing storm-damaged infrastructure and paying for cleanup costs.

The funds are part of a $45 million aid package announced in March after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the state's appeal for federal disaster assistance for local governments. The Nov. 17 tornadoes killed eight people statewide, including three deaths in Brookport.

About $139,000 of state aid has already been provided to pay for workers to assist with disaster cleanup and recovery efforts in Brookport, according to information from the governor's office.

Other funds that have come out of the $45 million package include up to $10 million for rebuilding tornado-damaged infrastructure. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will distribute $4.5 million for housing repair and reconstruction to low-income residents. An additional $3.6 million in HUD funds are expected to come this summer for housing needs that came out of both last year's spring flooding and November tornadoes.

The state's infrastructure bank, IFA, has made $4.5 million in below-market rate loans for repairs available to publicly owned and operated facilities that were damaged by the November tornadoes.

About 50 low-income households affected by the storms have also be able to receive $2.5 million in assistance from Illinois Housing Development Authority, and qualified homeowners have been able to receive up to $40,000 in assistance for insurance deductibles.

About $5.35 million is being distributed to help with damaged water systems and $3.55 million was allocated for cleanup costs.

Other local governments receiving funds as a part of Monday's announcement include the city of Washington, as well as its high school, township road district, and park district; the village of Gifford; Pekin; Diamond; Coal City; East Peoria; and Compromise Township in Champaign County.

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