By the end of this month, Kentucky cities should learn whether they will receive some of the remaining $150 million Kentucky designated for Clean Water Grants. Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) Executive Director Sandy Williams updated the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee at their Wednesday meeting.
In June, KIA opened the application process for the program using $250 million of Kentucky’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State Fiscal Recovery Fund allocation for drinking and wastewater grants. Language legislators added to Senate Bill 36 on the final day of the 2021 session funded grants for planning, design, and construction of water and sewer projects with social, economic, or environmental impacts.
Williams told the committee that cities in all 120 Kentucky counties applied with 634 total projects totaling $728 million. The deadline to apply was November 19. KIA approved 74 projects totaling $53.4 million. She said another round is ready for approval, and she hopes to announce the remaining projects by month’s end.
When asked how the western Kentucky tornado damage may affect some of the projects, Williams said KIA is flexible with those impacted by the devastating storms. “We expect that some of the priorities of those affected utilities may be revised, and we have already reached out and let them know that KIA is here for them if they need to make a change. We will work with them, and we will do whatever they need. “
Williams added that while utilities in the impacted areas have yet to complete damage assessments, she has heard that three water tanks are down, and the storm destroyed one sewer treatment plant.
She also updated the committee on federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Williams said the state should receive approximately $112 to $119 million to supplement current drinking water and wastewater programs, but the federal government has not developed rules regarding how municipalities can use those funds. She expects the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will announce guidelines in the new year.
Also at Wednesday’s hearing, the committee approved a $75,000 Economic Development Fund Grant for the City of Eddyville. The city will partner with the Eddyville Riverport and Industrial Development Authority to develop and implement a building pad construction and utility extension plan at Industrial Park Drive within the Eddyville Industrial Park.
An independent site selection consultant contracted by the Kentucky Association for Economic Development (KAED) identified the area as a likely future location for an economic development project.