PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) wants to make sure all fire departments and ambulance services know that the Office of the State Fire Marshal is accepting applications for its Small Equipment Grant Program.

“During a time when local governments will rely on every last dollar, this grant program helps our firefighters and EMS providers buy vital equipment like masks and gloves,” Koehler said. “I encourage local fire departments and ambulance services to apply for this grant program.”

The program was created to help Illinois fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services that struggle to afford the necessary equipment to do their jobs.

In June, the Small Equipment Grant Program awarded $3.5 million to 154 fire departments and EMS providers. Applicants can also apply for personal infection control items such as masks, gowns and gloves.

“We rely on our first responders, who have continued to work even during this pandemic,” Koehler said. “I’m thankful that the Office of the State Fire Marshal has this program to help them stay safe.”

Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments are eligible to apply. Stand-alone, not-for-profit ambulance service providers are eligible to apply as well.

For more information, visit the state fire marshal’s website.

Category: Press Releases


PEORIA – The Greater Peoria Mass Transit District was named a recipient of a $16.7 million grant to improve Peoria’s mass transit system, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced Friday.

“It’s an unfortunate truth that public transportation systems can easily fall into disrepair, which creates issues for people without reliable access to a vehicle,” Koehler said. “Whether it’s for commuting to work, making a trip to the grocery store, or picking up your child from school, people have to have reliable public transportation systems. This is an important investment to make in Peoria.”

Grant funds will be used for new or renovated buses, transit stations and maintenance facilities. This is the first of three grant cycles for mass transit projects through the Rebuild Illinois plan, with the next two set to occur in 2021 and 2023.

A complete list of local providers and awards can be viewed at https://idot.click/rbi-capital-plan-transit-grants.

Category: Press Releases

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PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced several local businesses will receive financial assistance from the Business Interruption Grant program to help offset financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The BIG program has demonstrated what can be done when we lawmakers in Springfield put our heads together and proactively seek ways to help those we serve,” Koehler said. “Because of this, businesses that have served our communities for generations are able to continue operations.”

28 businesses in the tri-county area received a combined $1,425,000 in $5,000-$150,000 grants to help cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to the pandemic.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded the grants this week, as part of the second round of BIG Grants. However, applications will remain open until all of the funding is spent.

“In order for our local business community to prosper through the winter we need them to take advantage of every opportunity available,” Koehler said. “There is still plenty of money available, but it won’t be there for long. I encourage all business owners to check their eligibility and apply as soon as possible.”

The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are available on the DCEO’s website.

Category: Press Releases


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PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria, joined with Gov. JB Pritzker and officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation to mark the completion of the Murray Baker Bridge’s renovation project Monday.

“The revitalization of the Murray Baker Bridge was a long time coming," Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said. "The peace of mind that comes with regular maintenance of our roads and bridges cannot be understated and the newly installed lights add to the already magnificent Peoria skyline."

The $42.2 million rehabilitation project, for which Koehler was a key advocate during negotiations for the Rebuild Illinois construction plan, removed and replaced the existing bridge deck, repaired structural steel, repainted lower portions of the bridge and installed new lighting, resulting in a smoother, safer ride for commuter and freight traffic. Decorative lighting was also added to emphasize a community landmark.

Built in 1958, the Murray Baker Bridge is utilized by 68,000 vehicles a day on average and carries Interstate 74 over the Illinois River, uniting Peoria and East Peoria. The most recent upgrade was in 2005, with the last replacement of the bridge deck in 1984.

The Murray Baker Bridge will reopen on Oct. 31.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
323B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

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Peoria, IL 61603
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