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Three western Illinois communities will now be able to complete infrastructure upgrades thanks to a recent grant award. The communities of Abingdon, Bushnell, and Canton received around $1.5 million each, or nearly $4.5 million combined. The grant awards were secured in part due to grant writing efforts by the community development team at WIRC-Community Action Agency (WIRC) in Macomb.

Jarred Dexter, Principal Planner/GIS Technician, and Josh Mercer, Planning Coordinator, of WIRC both worked on the grant applications for the three communities. Mercer says that Abingdon, awarded $1.5 million, and Canton, awarded $1.49 million, plan to use the funds for water main replacements, while Bushnell, awarded $1.49 million, designated their award for sanitary sewer line replacements. Dexter and Mercer collaborated with local elected officials in the respective communities to write and submit the grant applications. They estimate that the communities will be able to begin the projects sometime in Spring 2025.

Funding was awarded and provided by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Public Infrastructure through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

According to a press release by the Illinois DCEO, only 32 communities across the entire state were awarded funds from this particular infrastructure improvement grant. The largest grant award that a community could receive was $1.5 million.

Community leaders who would like more information about grant writing services offered at WIRC are encouraged to contact Jarred Dexter by calling WIRC at 309-837-2997 or emailing

WIRC-Community Action Agency is a nonprofit that helps people and communities in multiple western Illinois counties. The Agency is one of over 1,000 community action agencies across the United States working to end poverty. WIRC offers a wide range of social service and community development programs to improve the quality of life in their service area. To learn more, call WIRC’s Macomb office at (309) 837-2997 or Galesburg office at (309) 837-5115, find them on social media, or visit the website WIRC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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