Tennessee Announces $11M for Water and Sewer Planning

Tennessee boosts infrastructure with $11 million in planning grants.

Tennessee’s Governor Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart C. McWhorter have unveiled a significant $10.7 million funding initiative aimed at enhancing the state’s water and sewer infrastructure. This financial aid, sourced from the Rural Economic Opportunity Act, will benefit 50 selected community and utility district applicants across Tennessee, focusing on the vital long-term planning of water and sewer systems.

This Infrastructure Planning Grant (IPG) program is especially directed towards aiding utility systems serving distressed counties and rural communities that are currently grappling with financial distress. The program encompasses a broad range of activities including water and sewer system mapping and modeling, system analysis, asset management, and studies on regionalization, laying the groundwork for sustainable infrastructure development.

Governor Lee emphasized the importance of investing in infrastructure to ensure access to clean water for all Tennesseans, appreciating the General Assembly’s support in funding this initiative and acknowledging the proactive approach of the 50 grantees. Commissioner McWhorter also highlighted how vital strong infrastructure is for community growth and the attraction of business and industry, expressing anticipation for the economic growth spurred by these projects.

The grants, ranging from $38,000 to $500,000, have been awarded to a diverse group of recipients, including small towns and utility districts across Tennessee, each with specific projects aimed at improving their local water and sewer systems. These awards were determined based on criteria such as comptroller eligibility, with a focus on systems referred to the Board of Utility Regulation due to financial challenges like net position issues, non-revenue water, or high levels of debt.

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, responsible for this program, continues its mission to make Tennessee a leading location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs by attracting new corporate investment and aiding in the expansion and economic growth of local companies. This recent funding announcement underlines the state’s commitment to strengthening its communities through strategic infrastructure improvements, setting a foundation for future prosperity and well-being.

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