With the country reopening as the pandemic retreats, focus for municipal officials has shifted to the US Department of the Treasury’s “Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.” This $350 billion plan will directly assist communities with their response to lost revenue, economic stabilization, and investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure, with allocation based on local population.
At the time of this publication, many communities had already received their designated check from the government – however more clarification is anticipated regarding the appropriate way to spend the funding and what eligibility requirements projects must meet. BETA’s team is committed to monitoring information as it becomes available about this new national funding program, and is ready to provide guidance on appropriate expenditures.
One area of particular interest for many of our clients is that this program allows for investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, and support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.
- Recipients may use Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to invest in necessary improvements to their water and sewer infrastructures, including projects that address the impacts of climate change.
- Recipients may use this funding to invest in an array of drinking water infrastructure projects, such as building or upgrading facilities and transmission, distribution, and storage systems, including the replacement of lead service lines.
- Recipients may also use this funding to invest in wastewater infrastructure projects, including constructing publicly-owned treatment infrastructure, managing and treating stormwater or subsurface drainage water, facilitating water reuse, and securing publicly-owned treatment works.
BETA is already working with clients to identify high need projects that can be supported by the EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The Coronavirus Relief Fund aims to use criteria similar to the SRF’s in order to determine eligibility for this new program. Our water and wastewater engineers are poised to provide oversight and management of these funds so that our clients can confidently apply them to projects that meet the appropriate criteria and requirements outlined in the Interim Final Rule of the CRF program.
Projects must be identified and obligated by 12/31/24, and funds are eligible to be used through 12/31/26, providing ample time to permit, design and get projects as close to “shovel-ready” as possible. Contact BETA today to see how we can assist you with the identification and prioritization of water and wastewater projects that meet your local needs.