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Small Towns Missing Out on ARPA Dollars

 Illinois 17th Congressional District
Office of Cheri Bustos
Illinois 17th Congressional District

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos says there are 15 villages in her 17th District that have not signed up for this money, totaling 762,000 dollars. And she and her staff have been trying really hard to contact local officials, and let them know how easy it is to receive these federal funds.

"We've got a guy who's a school bus driver who had a friend who also had a friend that was the mayor of one of these towns and reached out to this mayor. We are going to extreme lengths to try to find the people and say 'hey, you've got money sitting there, you've got until Thursday to claim it, and if you don't claim it, it's going away.'"

Unclaimed ARPA funds so far include 80,000 dollars for Sherrard and 88,000 for New Boston, both in Mercer County, 33,000 for Henderson in Knox County, and 6,300 dollars for Gulfport in Henderson County.

"It is governmental malpractice to not claim those funds and help your small businesses, help your citizens, help get broadband to homes and businesses."

Bustos says local officials can sign up for these funds with help from her office, or the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. They don't even have to have decided what to do with the money - that can be done after Thursday's deadline.

Here's the list from her office of unclaimed funds as of Wednesday afternoon:

  • Ellisville (Fulton County): $12,506.87
  • Liverpool (Fulton County): $16,721.14
  • Marietta (Fulton County): $14,817.92
  • Smithfield (Fulton County): $30,043.67
  • Gulfport (Henderson County): $6,389.38
  • Media (Henderson County): $12,778.76
  • Menominee (Jo Daviess County): $32,626.61
  • Henderson (Knox County): $33,170.39
  • New Boston (Mercer County): $88,363.74
  • Sherrard (Mercer County): $80,750.86
  • Grove (Rock Island County): $80,343.03
  • Dakota (Stephenson County): $63,621.89
  • Rock City (Stephenson County): $38,472.21
  • North Pekin (Tazewell County): $210,033.80
  • Little York (Warren County): $42,278.65.

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A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.