On Thursday, July 7, Congressman Casten announced in a press release from his office, that the House Appropriations Committee passed $16,274,400 in federal funding for fourteen of Congressman Casten (IL-06)’s community project funding proposals, which will now advance to the House floor for final passage. The fourteen projects will provide housing to victims of domestic abuse, address the mental health crisis, provide quality health care to those who might not otherwise be able to access it, deliver cleaner air and water, help underserved children, improve safety, boost economic opportunity and more.
Of the fourteen projects scheduled for fiscal year 2023, a funding proposal of $2 million was passed for the City of West Chicago for the remediation and transformation of the Kerr-McGee Superfund site into a state-of-the-art community park. As part of the process, the City will retain a landscape architect to work with community representatives to design a park at the location. The anticipated project schedule for the transformation of the site is for design work to occur in 2022 with construction beginning in 2023.
While community members need to be involved in its design, some potential park amenities include a therapeutic playground, walking paths, a monarch butterfly garden, a community gathering space for festivals, and public art. It will also include a path to a culvert under the Canadian National Railroad tracks that would link to Pioneer Park, and allow residents on both sides of the tracks to enjoy the amenities of both Parks.
Visit the Office of Sean Casten's website to view the full requested appropriation and Congressman Casten's Letter to the Appropriations Committee.
Congressman Casten said, “With passage by the House Appropriations Committee, I’m proud to have moved one step closer to delivering funding for projects that will do so much to improve the lives of folks in Chicagoland. From treating students’ mental health needs, helping survivors of domestic abuse, and improving access to health care to electrifying our local school buses, cleaning our air, and drinking water, these projects will do so much for our community.”
In response to being notified that the City's project would be included in the initial House Appropriations Bill, Mayor Pineda provided the following statement.
“The City of West Chicago owes Representative Casten and his team an enormous debt of gratitude for their continued advocacy on our behalf, and for their dedication towards securing funding to transform a soon to be former Superfund site into a state-of-the-art park for all our community members to enjoy. This is a fitting end to this cleanup that has plagued West Chicago for decades, and we cannot thank them enough for their continued support of West Chicago residents. ”
The City will continue to provide updates to the community about the Kerr-McGee Superfund project.