As some Kentucky cities already celebrate approval of their drinking and wastewater grant applications, the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) is wading through hundreds more. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Jim Gray testified that communities have filed nearly 400 requests totaling almost $650 million in projects.
Applications began to pour in as soon as KIA opened the portal June 1. Nearly 200 applied in the first month.
The General Assembly appropriated $250 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund during the 2021 session. Money is separated in 3 pools; $150 million allocated by county population, $50 million for unserved drinking water customers in rural areas and federal consent decree programs, and $49.9 million to supplement a project grant where cost is greater than the county’s allocation.
On Wednesday, Gray told the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue that the final pool is broken down into two subgroups. He said $24.9 million will supplement a project grant. The remaining $25 million, Gray explained, is designed to cover cost escalations and changed conditions.
Multiple officials have expressed concern about increase costs. Wednesday the committee also received testimony regarding inflation and its impact on the Kentucky economy.
Gray said the application period expires November 19. KIA will continue awarding grants through December 31.