RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced 12 grants totaling $34,585,121 from the state’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) fund, part of which TDEC is administering in the form of water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure grants
The grants announced Tuesday follow the announcement of six grants totaling $37,910,909 from the ARP in August, bringing the total rewarded by TDEC thus far to $72.4 million. The grants announced today include one collaborative grant and 11 non-collaborative grants for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure planning, design, and construction.
Funds Used Locally - A portion of the funds will be funneled into Rutherford County and WGNS has confirmed that more than $5.5-million will be used by the Consolidated Utility District. The local utility provider will be replacing over 37,000 linear feet of aging and failing drinking water lines throughout Rutherford County. This includes replacing failing asbestos lines in certain zones within the county. The utility will be bringing service to an additional 20 households that lack connection, while also providing service to the underserved communities in Rutherford County.
More on the Funding Statewide - Tennessee received $3.725 billion from the ARP, and the state’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group dedicated $1.35 billion of those funds to TDEC to support water projects in communities throughout Tennessee. Of the $1.35 billion, approximately $1 billion was designated for non-competitive formula-based grants offered to counties and eligible cities. The remaining funds will go to state-initiated projects and competitive grants.
Grants announced Tuesday are for Sumner County, the Town of Farragut, the City of White House, the City of Lewisburg, Rutherford County, Metro Lynchburg Moore County, Germantown, Johnson City, the City of Millington, the City of Loudon, City of Livingston, and the City of Mitchellville.
The list includes a collaborative grant and non-collaborative grants. A collaborative project involves multiple entities such as cities, counties, utility districts or authorities working together on activities with a shared purpose or goal.
“These grants will address important water infrastructure needs across our state, especially in disadvantaged communities,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “We commend communities who have gone through the application process, and we look forward to the substantial improvements the grants will bring.”
“More than ever, infrastructure is critically important to our local communities,” said Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge. “This money will allow cities and towns to address deficiencies and make improvements that will pay dividends not just in the present but in the years to come as well. I greatly appreciate the work of the governor and my colleagues on the Fiscal Accountability Group for their work in making sure these funds were spent appropriately and efficiently.”
“We continue experiencing considerable growth across the state, and many of our communities require additional resources to address their evolving needs,” said Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville. “These grants will play a major role in ensuring cities and towns have access to infrastructure solutions that will enable them to continue thriving so Tennessee remains a preferred destination for both businesses and families.”
“We are grateful to the local applicants, and we anticipate excellent results from these grants,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “This shows that Tennessee recognizes the need for improved water infrastructure and is committed to helping communities meet that need.”
TDEC is focusing the grants on the following goals:
- Protect and promote human health and safety and improve the quality of water by supporting water systems in non-compliance to work toward compliance with water quality requirements
- Improve the technical, managerial, and financial capabilities of small, disadvantaged, or underserved water infrastructure systems; and
- Address critical water infrastructure needs across the state
TDEC’s strategy for deployment of ARP funds is described in the Water Infrastructure Investment Plan. This plan was developed by TDEC based on input from leaders and experts from agencies internal and external to state government. The plan can be found at this link. Funds from the ARP must be obligated by December 31st, 2024 and expended by December 31st, 2026.