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U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly helps secure $500K grant for Olympia Fields

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Congresswoman Robin Kelly announced today that her office was instrumental in securing a $500,000 grant for the Village of Olympia Fields for rehabilitation of its sanitary sewer system, reported the SouthtownStar. The action was necessittated by the fact that the village was facing the possibility of fines because of the possibility that stormwater would leak into sanitary sewer lines. That would tax the sanitary sewers and potentially causing them to overflow into streets or waterways.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer grant will enable the Village to complete the last step of its Graymoor Sanitary Sewer project to alleviate an overflow of rainwater that’s straining the system.

"I was delighted to assist Olympia Fields in securing the grant," Rep. Kelly said. "Aging infrastructure directly affects the quality of life for residents, so I consider it an important part of my job to help acquire the necessary funds that will keep our communities operating safely and productively."

Olympia Fields President Debbie Meyers-Martin said she was "extremely pleased" to learn about the award from Rep. Kelly’s office.

"These funds will ensure that sanitary sewer overflows and backups that have impacted the Graymoor community will finally be resolved. After completion of this work, the Village will be in compliance with the EPA, IEPA and MWRD, as well as the provision of the Federal Clean Water Act. None of this would have been possible if not for the Congresswoman Kelly’s leadership in securing these funds," President Martin said.

The funding will also enable the Village to complete crucial sewer repairs in other parts of the community, according to David A. Mekarski, village administrator of Olympia Fields. "The Army Corps Section 219 funding will mean that monies which were appropriated for the Graymoor Community can, in part, be transferred to other neighborhoods to ensure that sanitary sewer rehabilitation work can be completed without the necessity of further increasing sanitary sewer rates," he said.

Mekarsli told the SouthtownStar that "Olympia Fields will need to spend $15 million to $20 million over the next 20 years to fix leaky sewers."

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