Updated: February 17, 2014 8:29AM
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-3rd, announced Wednesday that $11.4 million for the Lockport Powerhouse is included in the $1.1 trillion government spending bill under consideration in both the House and Senate.
The funding would facilitate the completion of the design and the awarding of a construction contract for repairs at the facility operated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, according to a release from Lipinski’s office.
“For more than a century, the Lockport Powerhouse has been instrumental in maintaining the Chicago waterways system,” Lipinski said in the release, adding that funding “will help to ensure the powerhouse remains viable for many years to come.”
The Lockport Powerhouse was built in 1907, near where the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal connects with the Des Plaines River, the release said. The powerhouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, plays a key role in helping control the levels of the canal and reduce the risk of flooding on area waterways, the release said. The water flowing through the facility is harnessed by two turbines to generate electricity for ComEd, it said.
Assessor: Nearly $2M in erroneous claims collected
Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced Wednesday that his office has collected close to $2 million since July 1 for erroneous exemption savings received by taxpayers.
The money was collected as a result of a new law that gives Berrios’ office the means to recoup funds from those who have improperly received property tax exemptions, according to a release from Berrios’ office.
“By law, a person is allowed to collect an exemption only on the home that is his or her primary residence,” Berrios said. “This new law was desperately needed, as we never had anything in place to deter taxpayers from claiming erroneous exemptions or any means to help recover the money they have unfairly received.”
An amnesty period that allowed those who wrongly claimed one or two exemptions to repay the amount without penalty, interest or the threat of legal action expired Dec. 31, the release said. As a result of the amnesty period, $1,896,618.64 was collected from July 1 to Dec. 31, the release said.
Taxpayers who claimed three or more exemptions in error were not eligible for amnesty, the release said.
For more information on reporting erroneous exemption savings, visit www.cookcountyassessor.com.
Pet food drive
The Best Buddies Pet Pantry will hold a pet food drive to benefit pets of families in need from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Petco, 17930 Halsted St., Homewood.
The pantry, a nonprofit group, provides free pet food to qualified families in Illinois and northwest Indiana. The pantry now is partnering with Bloom Township Center, 425 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights, to provide pet food assistance to township residents.
Items needed include any new dog or cat food, dog biscuits and treats, cat treats, new or gently used collars and leashes, plastic shopping bags and pet food coupons.
Donations are tax-deductible, and a receipt can be provided, according to the organization. Monetary donations will be accepted at the store, via PayPal by visiting www.bestbuddiespetpantry.org, or a check can be mailed to Best Buddies Pet Pantry, P.O. Box 695, Chesterton, IN 46304.
For more information, visit the website, the Best Buddies Pet Pantry Inc. page on Facebook, or call (219) 728-1401.
Brother Rice Trivia Night set
The Brother Rice Alumni Mothers’ Club will host its second annual Trivia Night at 7 p.m. Jan. 25. The cost is $15 per person.
Participants can bring snacks, and pizza orders will be taken but no outside liquor is allowed. The event is for those 21 and older, and beer, wine and pop will be sold. Reservations should be made by Jan. 20 by emailing email@example.com or by contacting Peggy Gannon at (773) 239-6399.
Grants workshop offered
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-2nd, will host a grants workshop to provide information on securing public and private resources for community-based organizations, nonprofits and local governments, according to a release from her office.
The workshop will be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Richton Park Community Center, 4455 Sauk Trail Road, Richton Park. Sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m.
Guest presenters include representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Cook County Department of Planning and Development, and the Donors Forum, according to the release.
Space is limited to the first 100 registrants. To register, visit repkellygrantworkshop.eventbrite.com. For more information, call (708) 679-0078.
Drew School gets tenant
Space at the former Drew School in Summit Hill School District 161 has been leased to a Montessori preschool and elementary school. The new tenant will lease one classroom through June 9 and then will lease the media center through June, 2015, according to District 161.
The district closed Drew School, a first- through fourth-grade building at 20130 Rosewood Drive, in June 2012 as part of an effort to reduce a $2.5 million deficit.
The superintendent’s financial advisory group will formalize a three- to five-year building utilization plan, factoring in future student enrollment projections, reviewed school capacities, per capita costs, and maintenance to craft a clear picture of future needs, Supt. Barb Rains said.
The district also works in partnership with the Frankfort Square Park District for use of the lunch room for the park district dance program and use of the gym for sports activities.
GSU to host job/internship fair
The Office of Career Services at Governors State University will host a career fair for those interested in employment and internship opportunities in education and related fields, a release from the university said.
The fair will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Hall Governors at the school, 1 University Parkway, University Park.
The event is free and open to the public, and employers are invited to register as participants.
For more information or to register, call (708) 235-3974.
SD 228 seeks reunion info
Bremen Community High School District 228 is looking for information from alumni who are organizing reunions.
Those who are are asked to update their contact information or email their reunion plans to community relations coordinator Lori DeVos at firstname.lastname@example.org.