BETHALTO – The Bethalto Boys & Girls Club will be building a new clubhouse, thanks in part to $1 million secured by U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski.

The project is among a number of local recipients of federal funding in spending bills signed into law last week.

Local projects to receive $9.4 million

According to Budzinski’s office, six Metro East Projects will receive $9.4 million, while the entire 13th Congressional District will benefit from approximately $136 million in special project funding. Along with Budzinski, there was support for the projects by Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.

“With more than $9.4 million headed to the region, I’m excited to see progress on efforts to support local youth, improve housing options and rebuild critical infrastructure across our communities,” Budzinski said in a prepared statement. “In the coming months, I look forward to visiting the sites of these projects and continuing my work to deliver results for the folks I serve in Central and Southern Illinois.”

Duckworth echoed that.

“Our state and our nation are stronger when we invest in our communities and families — and that’s one of the things Congressionally Directed Spending allows us to do,” she said.

Under Congressionally Directed Spending (in the U.S. Senate, referred to as Community Project Funding  in the U.S. House), federal legislators can ask for funding for a certain number of local projects.

According to a press release form Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, the money will be used to fund construction of a new clubhouse. The new space will “help more youth achieve their full potential in a community that is both rural and mostly low-moderate income.”

“We are beyond excited about the funding we’re receiving to build a new Boys & Girls Club of Bethalto club house,” said Kathleen Wilson, senior executive director of the Bethalto club. “We are out of space in our aging building and a new, state of the art facility will allow us to serve more youth, become 100 percent accessible, and provide dedicated areas for STEM, cooking, and career development.”

It will also serve as a multi-use community space for senior citizens, Head Start, community groups and families.

“We will also fill a void in the community by providing space for adult recreation and meeting space for community groups and families,” Wilson added.

East Alton will also receive $5 million for upgrades

East Alton will also receive $5 million for upgrades to it’s water treatment facility.

Budzinski, along with Durbin and Duckworth, had requested the funding, which will help bring the facility up to current EPA standards and increase it’s capacity by approximately 50 percent.

“For too long, the Village of East Alton has grappled with the challenge of outdated water infrastructure, which has limited reliable access to clean water,” Durbin said. “Today marks a turning point as we address this issue head-on, ensuring the plant meets the standards set forth by EPA and that every customer has the water supply they need.”

Alton Forward will receive $1,059,097

Alton Forward will receive $1,059,097 for the Lovejoy housing construction project, which she touted as “the first new construction project downtown in over a generation.”

“Our collective ability to attract and retain the next generation of Alton residents is essential to the revitalization of downtown Alton,” said AltonWorks CEO John Simmons. “This project will benefit the entire community and is an important step in the long-term prosperity of Alton.”

The city of Wood River will receive $850,000

The city of Wood River will receive $850,000 for the Ninth Street Detention Pond, which will help lower the base flood elevation, improving property values and encouraging expansion.

Wood River City Manager Steve Palin said the project will remove approximately 300 homes from the flood plain.

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