New Program Helps Financing Natural Gas Pipeline to Hopkins Park


Hopkins Park, 100 kilometers from Chicago in Kankakee County, has had no access to natural gas for home heating for decades, but thanks to a new partnership between the government and Nicole, these pipelines are It eventually led to Pembroke Township.

One of the most impoverished areas in the state, for decades dependent on propane gas and electric heat, a new partnership will allow the majority of community homes to be powered by natural gas. will be supplied.

On Monday, elected leaders, advocates and community members celebrated the Commitment to Pembroke. This is in response to some people’s pleas to have other heat sources in their homes.

Pembroke Township resident Roosevelt Smiley Jr. says he uses propane gas to heat his home.

“It’s really hard sometimes when the temperature is well below freezing and the wind-chill factor is as low as 25 degrees,” he said.

After 3 years and 3 battles, Nicole finally got a law passed by the Illinois Legislature to provide natural gas to the community.

Smiley Jr. said, “I’m so excited to have something that many of us have wanted for so long.

Gas pipelines are a lifeline for some communities with a median income of about $22,000, and some homes have no indoor plumbing.

Elected officials and advocates gathered at Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary School for the ribbon cutting to mark the milestone.

Whether this will come to fruition is unclear, but Hopkins Park Mayor Mark Hodge is optimistic that the investment will stimulate economic growth.

“It will dramatically change the lives of the people of Pembroke and Hopkins Park,” he said. “You no longer have to leave your community to look for a job.”

Congressmen, including Rep. Robin Kelly, who helped bring all the stakeholders together, participated in the negotiating process.

Republican Rep. Jackie Haas and Sen. Patrick Joyce pushed legislation in Springfield to allow Nicole to expand her services outside of her usual area.

“I’m excited, it’s my job, others are waiting, but it’s good to finally see it come to fruition,” Kelly said.

However, not everyone is happy with it.

“This gas can be harmful to the environment,” said Pembroke Township resident Jufybza Wright.

She believes there may be a hidden financial burden that could be passed on to community residents.

“Will the Pembrokeans pay for it? It certainly looks that way,” she said.

Nicole officials said they have programs in place to offset costs, stressing that access to natural gas remains voluntary.

Residents hope that access to natural gas will facilitate the movement of others into their communities.

“Hopefully more people want to live a rural lifestyle,” said Smiley Jr.

The project is just one investment in the community, and Kelly said plans are underway to bring broadband internet to Pembroke Township later this year.


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Written by Natalia Chi

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