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City wraps up first phase of IGIG project in Sterling

STERLING – In September, the city learned it was to receive largest IEPA green space grant award ever given to a municipality.

Governor Pat Quinn came to town to announce that $1.3 million would go to Sterling, one of 13 communities to receive funds through the program. The objective of the grant program is to reduce the amount of pollution that enters the state’s waterways.

The city is using the money from the Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant to fund the first two phases of its green riverfront revitalization project.

The council on Monday approved a payment of $50,136 to O’Brien Civil Works to pay for Phase 1 work completed through July 9. The work was done at the Northwestern Steel and Wire Co. site. Included was site preparation, watershed protection, installation of a warning barrier and placement of a cap over the project site.

The next step is for the contractor to start hauling clean fill materials to the site. That work should be completed by mid-August.

Alderman Joe Martin led the meeting for Mayor Skip Lee, who was on vacation.

“This should be about all of the Phase 1 work, and we’ll be able to move on to the next phase,” Martin said.

The IEPA financial assistance agreement had set the project costs at $2,181,735. The pact stipulates that the grant pays $1,330,272, while the city will contribute $851,463.

Attorney Greg Hummel of Bryan Cave LLP had told the council that more of the matching funds are purposely devoted to the first phase of the project.

“We’re front-loading the first phase, because there are more possibilities for funding the National properties later,” Hummel said. He cited the possibilities of a brownfield revolving loan, two TIF districts, federal and state historic tax credits, and Kilgore Park tax credits.

Phase 2 will be negotiated later, because the timetable for that portion of the project is contingent on the Stanley remediation process.

Sterling also received $900,000 from Quinn’s Mud to Parks program, which will help transfer 60,000 cubic yards of dredged material from Fox Lake to be used to cover the brownfield site.

Next meeting

The Sterling City Council next meets at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 4, at City Hall, 212 Third Ave., on the first floor in the Council Chambers.

Go to or call City Hall at 815-632-6621 for an agenda or more information.

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