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Gov. Blagojevich awards $535,000 in Anhydrous Ammonia Security Grant funds to fight meth production   Send a link to a friend

Grants will help agrichemical dealers protect their facilities from theft

[June 14, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has awarded $535,000 in Anhydrous Ammonia Security Grant funding to 50 Illinois agrichemical dealers throughout the state. The funding, announced May 25, will help these businesses secure their facilities to prevent the theft of anhydrous ammonia, a farm fertilizer and key ingredient used to manufacture methamphetamine. This is the second installment of grants since the governor created the Anhydrous Ammonia Grant program in August 2006 and furthers the governor's efforts to reduce the production and manufacture of the illicit drug.

"Meth is a highly addictive drug that threatens families and entire communities. This program helps farmers and agrichemical dealers protect anhydrous ammonia -- to keep the chemical out of the hands of meth makers," Blagojevich said.

The Anhydrous Ammonia Security Grant initiative is a self-help program. It allows fertilizer dealers to determine their own security needs and then reimburses them for up to two-thirds of the cost of their improvements. Eligible projects include the installation of tamper-proof locks on ammonia tanks, the purchase of lighting and video surveillance equipment, and blending of additives that render the fertilizer useless in the production of methamphetamine.

"It's a growing problem. More and more agrichemical dealers are dealing with the theft of anhydrous ammonia at their facilities. These grants provide businesses with necessary funding to improve security and safety measures, which also will help protect their bottom line," Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke said.

"Partnering with the state of Illinois to enhance security and prevent ammonia theft not only improves safety and security at ammonia facilities, but also helps protect everyone in rural Illinois who has been dealing with meth-related problems for nearly a decade now," said Jean Payne, president of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association. "It is our hope that we can continue this valuable program in the future."

Meth has become a growing crisis in the state of Illinois, with prison admissions rising from only six in fiscal 1999 to 421 in fiscal 2004. The current prison population for meth offenders is more than 800, with countless others in prison who are believed to have committed their offense while under the influence of the drug. In 2002, Illinois State Police seized 668 meth labs statewide and made 820 related arrests. By 2006, the number of seizures had grown to 786 and accounted for over 1,100 arrests.

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Throughout his administration, Blagojevich has taken several actions to make it harder for meth producers to obtain ingredients, and to stiffen penalties for manufacturers and users.

On May 22, the governor announced more than $5.2 million in federal funds to help fight drug crimes in 64 counties throughout Illinois. The funding will be distributed to 28 multi-jurisdictional narcotics enforcement and narcotics prosecution units and will be used to conduct undercover drug operations, crack down on methamphetamine labs and prosecute drug offenders, among other programs. (See previously posted article.)

Last year, the governor created the meth prison initiative, which included the creation of a 200-bed meth unit at the 667-bed Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center in St. Clair County. For fiscal 2008, the governor proposes expanding the Sheridan Correctional Center from 950 offenders to its full capacity of 1,300 offenders, with 200 of those spaces to be used for another meth unit. Inmates in both programs will have access to intensive prison-based drug treatment programs, vocational training, job preparation and mental health services, and their treatment will continue under a highly supervised transition back to their communities upon completion of their sentence.

A complete list of 2007 grant awards is listed below.

[Text copied from file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]


Grant applicant

City

Award amount

Ag View FS Inc. Princeton

$3,417.00

Ag-Land FS Inc. Pekin

$54,631.13

Agri-Tech Service Inc. Goodwine

$2,080.00

A-Way Inc. Crescent City

$670.00

Bolduc and Sons Inc. Woodhull

$2,640.00

Broadwell Farm Center Broadwell

$600.00

Bunker Hill Supply Hutsonville

$3,460.55

Cabery Fertilizer Co. Cabery

$2,365.10

Cameron Grain Corp. Cameron

$3,186.00

ChemGro Inc. Dallas City

$10,000.00

Crop Production Services Mason City

$1,000.00

Crop Production Services Marissa

$2,901.24

Crop Production Services Melvin

$1,666.65

Crop Production Services Wellington

$2,548.00

Crop Production Services Saunemin

$1,320.00

Crop Production Services Inc. Yates City

$3,527.48

Cupi's Ag Center South Pekin

$4,050.00

Doug Kline Crop Service Inc. Casey

$2,000.00

Earlybird Grain & Fertilizer Stanford

$14,217.00

East Lynn Fertilizer Inc. East Lynn

$6,386.65

Effingham Equity Effingham

$152,777.39

Evergreen FS Inc. Bloomington

$49,600.00

Farmers Exchange Fertilizer Farmersville

$1,992.00

Harbach, Gillan & Nixon Inc. Hopedale

$2,760.00

HG&N / Randolph Ag Service Heyworth

$1,206.00

Illiana Seed Danville

$9,976.00

J.R.'s Crop Service Reddick

$3,234.00

Kohlbrecher Truck Service Inc. St. Rose

$1,265.00

Lincoln Ag Center Co. Lincoln

$2,036.80

Lincoln Land FS Inc. Jacksonville

$59,052.67

M & M Service Co. Carlinville

$21,574.00

Maplehurst Farms Rochelle

$9,966.66

Michlig Agricenter Inc. Manlius

$4,000.00

Miller Fertilizer and Feed Cowden

$2,234.45

Miller Fertilizer Inc. Martinsville

$1,340.00

Myers Crop Center Inc. Gridley

$7,221.06

Okaw Crop Care Shelbyville

$6,030.00

Okaw Farmerís Co-op Arthur

$2,906.17

Peine Inc Minier

$1,360.00

Perry Feed & Fertilizer Inc. Timewell

$10,720.00

Prairie States Warehouse Danville

$3,128.00

Shipman Elevator Co. Shipman

$3,401.00

Sidell Agri-Services, Inc. Sidell

$4,130.27

St Clair Service Company Belleville

$3,615.07

Stonington Fertilizer Inc. Stonington

$2,000.00

Sunrise Ag Service Company Virginia

$3,270.58

T/A Terminals Inc. Meredosia

$6,030.00

Top Ag Coop Inc. Okawville

$5,336.55

Tri Ag Inc. Emden

$11,320.00

Twomey Company Gladstone

$1,239.50

United Prairie LLC Tolono

$14,061.22

Westfield Grain & Fertilizer Inc. Westfield

$1,225.43

Westridge Agri-Services Tuscola

$2,819.96

Total

$535,496.58

    

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