Washington Mayor says Quinn's $45 Million plan will open new doors

By WEEK Reporter

March 5, 2014 Updated Mar 6, 2014 at 10:55 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. --Though months have passed after the November 17 tornado, Washington Mayor Gary Manier says Quinn's $45 million disaster relief package opens up new doors for the city.

Though the package will not contribute all of the $26 million that Washington requested from FEMA, Quinn says the individual agencies will work with local governments to determine the appropriate amount each city will get.

Mayor Manier says the city can now focus on boosting the local economy.

"We hope local businesses do well. We get that sales tax. We just hope that business picks up... from a school and library and park district thing we got to make sure that tax based revenue is build back up, and we hope that the governor can help with that also," said Mayor Manier.

Washington residents are also worried how this will affect their wallets. The Eberts have five generations of history in Washington and are local business owners. They say they love Washington, and while they came to Governor Quinn's press conference in support, they have their reservations.

The Ebert family says if the plan falls through, someone has to foot the bill and preferably not the taxpayers.

"That's a lot of money, and I think that it would do a tremendous amount of good. But I'm concerned about where the state of Illinois is going to come up with that kind of money," Bob Ebert said. "We'll hope that it happens but I am concerned about where we will get it."

"Washington is a city of small business, and raising tax rates would keep that money from people pockets... money which needs to go to small businesses to help everybody get going," said Ebert's grandson and co-business owner Tyler Gee.

The Ebert family has been vested in Washington for years and says it will bite the bullet and pay the taxes to support Washington if they are raised.