In June 2019, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a Rebuild Illinois plan creating $45 billion in revenue to improve the infrastructure of Illinois, update state facilities, fund education programs and would potentially create 540,000 jobs.

Included in the plan were four bills.

• HB 62: Appropriations for capital projects for the following: transportation, education, state facilities, environment/conservation, broadband deployment, health care and human services and economic and community development.

• SB 1939: Provides revenue for horizontal construction. The bill increased the motor fuel tax in Illinois from 19 cents to 38 cents on July 1, 2019.

• HB 142: Provides $22.6 billion in additional bonding authority allowing the state to fund infrastructure improvements statewide.

• SB 690: Legalizes sports wagering, expands gaming and provides revenue for vertical construction. The bill also increased the per-pack cigarette tax by $1, from $1.98 to 2.98, effective July 1, 2019.

Of the $45 billion investment, $33.2 billion over six years was designated to transportation, and according to Massac County Highway Engineer Joe Matesevac some of that money is starting to trickle down to southern Illinois.

Of the $33.2 billions, $590 million comes from in an increase in motor fuel tax that began in fiscal year 2020, $475 million in increased vehicle registration fees, $146 million in title fees and $600 million in sales tax on motor fuel.

Matesevac says the money has to be used by the year 2025 and can not be spent on normal maintenance projects. It must be spent on bondable, sustainable projects with a 13 year lifespan or longer. So far the county has received two disbursements — $80,000 and $120,000. He will receive payments twice a year over a three year period.

On Tuesday, Matesevac shared a few locations with the county commissioners that we would like to start focusing on to rehabilitate using the Rebuild Illinois money. Those projects inlcude:

• Replacing the culvert at Unionville and Angelly roads with a concrete culvert, estimated cost is $195,000

• Replacing a bridge on Upper Salem road just west of the railroad track

• Working on a curve in Round Knob that floods during heavy rains

• And, replacing a metal culvert on Walnut Ridge Road with a concrete culvert.

All these projects will require an engineering assistance from an engineer firm, and Matesevac was given the go ahead to start requesting bids for the design work.

In total, he estimates Massac County will receive around $1 million in township motor fuel revenue and $480,000 in county motor fuel revenue by the time the Rebuild Illinois plan is complete in 2025.

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