South suburban leaders meet with EPA officials over lingering water woes
ROBBINS, Ill. — Securing a long-term fix for residents dealing with ongoing water issues brought the mayors of Robbins, Dixmoor and other neighboring suburbs together with Congressman Bobby Rush in the hopes that their collective voices will ignite some much-needed change on a state and federal level.
Meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the south suburban mayors and Rush sought help in dealing with old and failing infrastructures resulting far too often in no water.
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Most recently, homes in the Village of Robbins were without water on Thanksgiving Day because of a water main break.
After hearing about the issues plaguing the communities, EPA and IEPA representatives shared several potential solutions, including connecting the mayors to grants that don’t require a matching component. Robbins Mayor Darren Bryant says he’s calling on Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to step in and help.
“I think the governor, you know, can issue a declaration of emergency and then maybe we can get some traction,” Bryant said. “I just want everybody in all components to work together on this issue to make sure the people of Illinois have water.”
“The biggest issue here is that this is something that is silent. You don’t see it. People drive over their streets. They don’t know what’s underneath until they don’t have water and water is supposed to be a right that everybody has,” added Blue Island Mayor Frank Bilotto.
Dixmoor Mayor Fitzgerald Roberts, whose village is long plagued by water woes, also spoke at the roundtable.
“I have pictures of my infrastructure pulled out of the ground,” Roberts said. “It’s crumbling and I just pray that whoever hears this and whoever is here today can lend us a hand.”
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