In This Issue
Give to Project Santa
LIHEAP Offers New Payment Plan Options
Fall Township Cleanup Results
Grant Funding for Energy Efficiency Projects
WIRC Receives EDA Funding
Funding Available for Improving Drinking Water
Rancher, Wildlife Action and Infrastructure Grants
River Run Apartments are Weatherized
Astoria Housing Rehabilitation
Domestic Violence and Accountability
Project Santa 


project santa

Give to Project Santa.  If Not You, Then Who?


Last year, 154 families and 384 children were served by Project Santa.  Over 2,000 gifts including toys, winter coats, mittens and hats, and food baskets were delivered.    


For 28 years, individuals, organizations, businesses, churches, and academic institutions have supported the Project Santa Program. As a result, the program has been able to assist thousands of families in providing a happy holiday for their children and holiday food baskets for the elderly.


With the nation's economic situation continuing to worsen through 2010-2011, and unrelenting unemployment making it increasingly more difficult for families to make ends meet, a happy holiday for their children remains out of reach for those in need. This economic environment and its impact make the Project Santa mission more challenging than ever in 2011.


As in years past, we ask that the community consider financial support and the donation of personal time to help Project Santa keep its promise of providing a happy holiday for the disadvantaged.


We are thankful for whatever you can give for the children and families in Hancock, Henderson, McDonough and Warren counties.


Donations can be dropped off or mailed to the Western Illinois Regional Council-Community Action Agency (WIRC-CAA) office at 223 South Randolph Street in Macomb, 61455.  Click on this link for a Donation Form.


For more information, or to volunteer to wrap packages call (309) 837-2997 or email


LIHEAP Offers New Payment Plan Options

For the first time, some Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) clients will have the option of choosing between the traditional Direct Vendor Payment (DVP) plan or the new Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) for their winter heating assistance.

The PIPP is available to eligible LIHEAP clients who are customers of Ameren Illinois and Nicor in the WIRC-Community Action Agency (WIRC-CAA) service area of Hancock, Henderson, McDonough and Warren counties. Under PIPP, the eligible client will pay a percentage of their income, receive a monthly benefit towards their utility bill, and receive a reduction in overdue payments for every on-time payment they make by the bill due date. The traditional DVP plan is a one-time payment.

Due to the start-up of PIPP, LIHEAP clients may experience longer wait times when applying for assistance, but also have a choice how to receive that assistance.

Clients must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance including:

  • Proof of gross income from all household members for the 30-day period prior to the application date.
  • A copy of their current heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if they pay for their energy directly).
  • A copy of their rental agreement (if they are renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
  • Social Security cards for all household members.
  • Proof that their household received TANF or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or SNAP, if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households.

A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income of up to $1,361; a two-person household up to $1,839; a family of three can earn up to $2,316; and a family of four can earn up to $2,794. Benefits are paid directly to utilities on behalf of eligible households. The exception is households whose heating costs are included in their rent.

To make an appointment, call (309) 837-2997, or come to the office at 223 South Randolph Street in Macomb to schedule an appointment. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Local outreach sites are available for filling out an application after an appointment has been made.

Customers will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted.


Tri-County Resource &

Waste Management Council   


Fall Township Cleanup Results  

cleanups Many communities exceeded the over 1,000 pound mark for collected electronics. Awesome!


Ellison - Warren County 

Paint: 280

Electronics: 630 

Scrap metals: 2800

Landfill materials: 4 tons


Greenbush - Warren County

Paint: 770

Electronics: 2580

Scrap metals: 5200

Landfill materials: 4 tons


Mercer - Mercer County

Paint: 270

Electronics: 790

Scrap metals: 2500

Landfill materials: 4 tons


Preemption - Mercer County

Paint: 2090

Electronics: 7095

Scrap metals: 8700

Landfill materials: 12 tons


Sciota - McDonough County

Paint: 440

Electronics: 630

Scrap metals: Approx. 2000

Landfill materials: 4 tons


Walnut Grove - McDonough County

Paint: 375

Electronics: 1180

Scrap metals: Approx. 2000

Landfill materials: 4 tons


Landfill materials included oversized furniture, mattresses, broken toys, storm doors, non-recyclable glass, things that will not fit in weekly garbage pickup. 





Suzan 30




Victim Services' Domestic Violence Program Celebrates 25th Anniversary


"...Though there have been many staff who have walked through our doors throughout the years, these persons are to be applauded for their determination and dedication to the mission of helping victims of violence." 

DIRECTIONS  - Suzan Nash, Executive Director  


On July 31, 2011, Victim Services (formerly named Quad County Coalition Against Domestic Violence) celebrated its 25th anniversary of providing services to victims of domestic violence and their dependents. Over this period of time, thousands of persons have received assistance from hearing a caring voice on the hotline to placing a person in shelter at 4:00 am to attending to a severely battered woman in the emergency room on a holiday weekend. This program, with its beginnings stemming from a perceived unmet need, has grown in tremendous proportions both reputationally and in service availability. How did it all begin?   Read more...


Grant Funding Helps Communities Target  

Energy Efficiency Projects


Along with other installations, the Village of Blandinsville installed a heating unit in its Public Works building through the Energy Efficiency Community and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, saving them hundreds in future energy costs.

As part of a State and Federal effort to help local governments in western Illinois become more energy efficient and conserve resources, the Western Illinois Regional Council (WIRC) has partnered with the Illinois Association of Regional Councils (ILARC) to provide over $622,000 in Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to several communities and counties in the region. The funding was available as part of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program administered by the US Department of Energy in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). This program, which awarded projects to 13 units of government in an eight county area, will have funded up to 75% of eligible project costs when all projects are completed. Funding is being used by the communities and counties to install or retrofit public buildings with energy-efficient improvements such as new lighting, high-efficient HVAC systems, replacement of windows and other energy conservation projects.  Read more... 

WIRC Receives Economic Development   Administration (EDA) Funding 

In 2001, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) designated the WIRC as an Economic Development District (EDD). Each of the six member counties passed resolutions to participate in this District, as it required no monetary commitment and provides the potential for economic development related grant funding from EDA. The WIRC remained an unfunded EDD until 2007 when the first funding was received from the EDA.


Recently, the EDA released funding through Senator Durbin's office ($53,000, which must be matched dollar for dollar) that will allow the Western Illinois Regional Council to continue to develop the economic development planning framework, process and strategy that supports private capital investment and job creation in the region.  This comprehensive and collaborative approach to economic development, by bringing together the public and private sectors in the creation of this economic and community development roadmap, will strengthen the regional voice and economy. 

  Improving Drinking Water Wells 

child with water

WIRC has recently received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to assist income eligible households in McDonough County in making improvements to drinking water wells.  Specifically, WIRC will now offer a one percent loan with a term of 20 years to homeowners in McDonough County that do not have wells that meet current safe drinking water regulations or need other well improvements to obtain safe drinking water.  Funding for each loan is capped at $11,000.


Any person interested in this program should contact Shannon Duncan, Planning Coordinator, at (309) 837-3941

or  WIRC staff is working with the McDonough County Health Department to facilitate this program.


Rancher, Wildlife Action and Infrastructure Grants Are Now Taking Applications! 

laptop 2

The North Central Region of Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program currently has a call out for proposals for Farmer Rancher Grants. SARE is an organization that strengthens rural communities and supports environmental protection by providing research and education grants. Deadline for proposals is Friday, December 2, 2011.  Read more... 


River Run Apartments and Weatherization


WIRC-CAA Weatherization/Housing Coordinator Tim Manock checks the air tightness of weatherized windows.

The Western IL. Regional Council-CAA has partnered with MEJ Developments and Consulting LLC., in the weatherization of 100 units at River Run Apartment complex in Macomb.   The weatherization funding will provide for the insulation of attics, window and door replacement and new furnaces. The Weatherization Program will provide $379,600 in funding.  Read more... 

Astoria Housing Rehabilitation 


Plumbing is just one of the things that can be rehabbed 
with this DCEO rehabilitation grant. 


The Village of Astoria will receive $313,236 from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) for the rehabilitation of seven units in a targeted area of the village. This is the second housing rehabilitation grant the town has received from DCEO. The grant will assist homeowners that are less than 80% of area medium income for Fulton County. The program's priority is to assist elderly, disabled and very-low income households.  


The goal of the program is to preserve the housing stock and stabilize neighborhoods within a targeted area of the community. Rehabilitation work consists of such items as: replacement of deteriorated roofs, siding, windows, heating systems, wiring, plumbing, and energy efficiency. The program also prioritizes work items that make the unit more accessible for disabled homeowners.    


Domestic Violence and Accountability 


In Illinois, we are all aware that times are rough for citizens and the government. We've been dealing with cuts in funding and late payments for the last three years. Illinois now pays its bills later than any other state. We're in tough economic times, but does that mean we make choices that put lives at risk and do not hold violators of the law accountable?  Read more... 

TopNetWIRC Newsletter - Volume 21/Issue 1
Western Illinois Regional Council
223 South Randolph St.
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 837-3941
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Thank your customer, tell them how valuable they are to you, but don't go overboard. Insincerity is easy to spot.
Western Illinois Regional Council
c/o Western Illinois Regional Council
Macomb, Illinois 61455