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NAPERVILLE – In an effort to enhance economic growth in the area, State Senator Laura Ellman announced that a $2 million    grant has been awarded to the Winfield park district for several  playground upgrades.

Funding is supported by the Rebuild Illinois statewide construction plan and will be used to speed up public works projects and long-term infrastructure improvements in underserved communities around the state. The grants are being released as part of $24.8 million in funding from the Fast-Track Public Infrastructure Capital program, with $14.7 million for projects located in Opportunity Zones.

“I was happy to see Winfield Park District included in Rebuild Illinois funding. Playgrounds are important pieces of local parks and allow children and families to spend valuable outdoor time together,” Ellman said. “This grant will help renew these spaces and focus on communities that need it the most.”

As part of the Fast-Track Capital grant, DCEO awarded grants for 17 construction projects. Projects include utility work projects, street infrastructure and large-scale playground modernization to playgrounds part of Winfield park district. 

“I would like to thank the the governor for his continued commitment to revitalizing communities in through the Fast Track grant program,” Ellman said. “I look forward to bringing more grants like these to the area as we all continue to deal with the new reality we face due to COVID-19.”

Fast Track is one of multiple new programs created by the state to provide emergency assistance for businesses and communities facing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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NAPERVILLE – In an effort to provide support to small business owners facing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19  crisis, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) announced 29 local businesses will receive nearly $500,000 through the Business Interruption Grant program.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created extraordinary new  challenges for our local small businesses,” Ellman said. “So many   of these businesses have worked hard to follow new guidelines,    so I’m thrilled to see so many are receiving these well deserved grants.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a total of $46 million to 2,655 small businesses in the first round of BIG funding. The BIG program offers grants to businesses hit particularly hard by pandemic-related closures and restrictions. First round grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 and may be used to help businesses with working expenses, including payroll costs, rent, utilities and any other pandemic-related expenses, such as personal protective equipment, new technology and training.

To ensure ongoing support for Illinois small businesses, the State of Illinois has planned future rounds of funding, including a special program for child care providers. The application deadline for this program is Aug. 14.

“These additional funds will give businesses the ability to reopen with the new guidelines and provide a safer environment for employees and customer,” Ellman said. “These grants are just some of the first steps that need to be taken to safely reopen our state economy and eventually eradicate the virus, so we can get back to everyday life.”

The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The full list of grant recipients is available here.

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NAPERVILLE — State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is emphasizing the Illinois Department of Human Services’ new    mental health programs to help people who need additional resources for crisis support, housing and community care during their times of need.

“Residents are under additional pressure. We need to make sure that we provide them with assistance,” Ellman said. “Creating    these new resources can help so many people who feel the programs that are already in place just don’t work for them.”

On Monday, IDHS announced the roll out of three new mental health programs that were created to provide additional resources for residents. Working with local mental health centers and other less traditional service providers, the agency developed new clinical services and supports.

A new program called the Living Room Program is designed specifically for people in need of a crisis relief program to break the cycle of psychiatric hospitalization. It provides a safe and welcoming atmosphere where individuals can process an event while learning how to avoid a future crisis.

The Transitional Living Centers Program is a housing resource for people who have mental illnesses and need an immediate place to stay while they search for permanent housing.

The Transitional Community Care and Support Programs are for people who are currently in IDHS State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals and are preparing to be discharged. It will include funding for non-traditional supports, such as cell phones, food, clothing, transportation, and other additional resources needed for individuals to succeed as they transition back into their communities.

Individuals seeking help from the Living Room Program may seek help directly or be referred by first responders or medical professionals. Participants of the other two programs will be referred by IDHS and other providers.

For more information and to find additional mental health resources, click here.

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NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is announcing that the 21st Senate District is set to receive over $15 million for improvements to local roads and bridges as part of the state’s ongoing multi-year construction plan.

“In these uncertain times, it’s encouraging to see the state     continue to work on roads and bridges,” Ellman said. “These projects will bring good-paying jobs to our area, while also   providing a much-needed update to local roads and bridges.”

 The $15 million in spending will be distributed among a number of projects across the district, including over $6 million for the Washington Street bridge. Located in the center of downtown Naperville, the over 40-year-old bridge will be completely replaced. Other projects include the construction of new bikeways, rehabilitating local roads and repairing other bridges.

"The Washington Street bridge at the center of downtown Naperville has over 30,000 cars travel across it daily," said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico. "At over 40 years old, reconstructing this critical piece of infrastructure is key to our continued economic success and vibrancy of our downtown business district."

The Illinois Department of Transportation’s plan will invest $21.3 billion to improve the state’s infrastructure over the next six years. Projects included in the program were selected based on objective criteria, such as pavement conditions, traffic volumes, and crash history. It will create thousands of job opportunities for residents across the state.

IDOT’s complete Multi-Year Plan can be found on the website and the complete list of projects for the 21st District can be found here.

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