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Speaking of earmarks, federal dollars tight for Illinois levee district repairs

December 29, 2010

Congressman Jerry Costello’s Twitter feed alerted his followers to a telling video of the Southern Illinois levee district summit he hosted December 18 with neighboring Congressman John Shimkus.

WOLF LAKE – Representatives with many Southern Illinois levee and drainage districts spoke of their frustrations Saturday regarding new regulations from the National Levee Safety Act of 2007 attempting to improve levee systems throughout the country.

What representatives identified most was a lack of funding to get the necessary work done for compliance to the new standards and qualify for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assistance.

The summit was called to help address questions about the 2007 law that requires annual levee inspections.

If you want to get a true sense of just how tight the federal budget will be for important projects like flood protection, watch the Southern Illinoisan’s  10 minute video which features opening comments and Q and A with both Reps. Costello and Shimkus.

Projects like these were difficult enough to fund in the era of earmarks.  That era is over, and both congressmen emphasized the need for local, state, and federal partnerships to shore up levees in need of costly, federally mandated repairs.

Photos of event can be found here courtesy of Congressman Shimkus’ Twitter feed.

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