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Board members make trip to Washington

Infrastructure and Opioid crisis topics of meetings

6/13/2017, midnight
Joliet - Two Will County Board members took a trip to the nation's Capital recently in order to speak with ...

Joliet - Two Will County Board members took a trip to the nation's Capital recently in order to speak with a Congressional Delegation and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) on behalf of Will County residents. Board Speaker Jim Moustis (R-Frankfort) and Board Member Suzanne Hart (R-Naperville) met with eight different legislators over the course of two days to discuss Will County’s transportation and infrastructure projects, as well as the County's response to the nationwide opioid crisis.

"It’s important to meet with our legislators face-to-face to have more meaningful discussions about the needs of our constituents," Moustis said. "We were especially pleased with the bipartisan support we received for our Friendly Freight Mobility Plan."

Moustis and Hart were in the nation's Capitol from May 23 to 24 to meet with Illinois Congressmen and U.S. Senators Dick Durban and Tammy Duckworth, as well as to attend meetings with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

One of the top objects of the trip was to discuss infrastructure projects in Will County. In particular, Moustis and Hart presented the county’s Friendly Freight Mobility Plan, which aims to provide community-friendly strategies, goals, and policies for freight development throughout the County. For example, the plan will suggest a blueprint for future road projects that will keep the transportation industry vibrant while maintaining the safety and comfort of residents. The study can also be used to apply for federal grants.

The Board members also discussed other infrastructure projects in Will County, such as the widening of Interstate 80 and Interstate 55, as well as the development of Houbolt Road bridge.

“Our two top priorities for this trip were to discuss Will County’s infrastructure projects, as well as our work to fight the opioid crisis,” Hart said. “We first brought our concerns to Congress about heroin abuse more than five years ago. We’ve made great strides since then and will continue to work with the federal government to get help to those who need it.

At the Department of Health and Human Services, the County representatives presented Will County’s efforts on substance education, harm reduction, and treatment to a group from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Will County recently received funding from SAMHSA through a state grant, part of which was used to purchase Saboxone, a drug used in medication-assisted treatment of those with opioid use disorder.