Be Ready for Infrastructure Funding
The effects of COVID-19 have been challenging to many communities. With a wide array of public needs, the federal government has developed new funding resources and increased existing funding programs to upgrade infrastructure and enhance resiliency well beyond the pandemic.
The availability of low-cost loans and grants for a variety of public works projects is continuing to increase. In recent years, municipalities have seen an influx of money from Federal and State resources in response to local and regional needs to maintain and upgrade vital infrastructure. It is imperative for communities to capitalize on current support for projects of varying scope and complexity to upgrade roads, bridges, dams and other essential water and sewer facilities, not only for current quality of life, but also for economic development, sustainability, and growth.
Recovery Funds & Building Back Better
Earlier this year, local governments began to receive the first round of $65 billion in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery (SLFR) funds, implemented under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Eligible uses were created by Congress in response to the pandemic, with one of the categories allowing “necessary investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.”
Treasury guidelines outline a broad range of possible projects to improve access to clean drinking water, upgrade wastewater collection and treatment, and construct stormwater infrastructure. Projects that are eligible under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (https://www.epa.gov/cwsrf) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs (https://www.epa.gov/dwsrf/dwsrf-eligibilities) would be eligible for ARPA funding. The SRF criteria allows for a wide range of treatment, distribution, collection, storage, facility equipment, new system construction, and operating controls as potentially eligible projects.
C.T. Male’s Community Development Specialist, Melanie Krause, along with our Civil Engineering Division, is offering expertise and additional resources pertaining to appropriate ARPA spending and reporting. For questions regarding ARPA eligibility, please contact Melanie at [email protected]
In addition to the Rescue Plan funds, President Biden has announced the Build Back Better (BBB) agenda; a nearly $3.5 trillion-dollar menu of investments intended to develop jobs, improve infrastructure and human service programs, and combat climate change. Within that Plan is a proposed $1.3 trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal, known currently as the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act.
Infrastructure Funding Strategy Services
The infrastructure component of the BBB agenda currently includes $550 billion in new federal investment over five years for projects to construct and rehabilitate roads, bridges, water systems, schools, and several other types of public facilities. This bill differs from ARPA in that the infrastructure spending is designed as a long-term investment program as opposed to the emphasis on short-term recovery funding in response to the pandemic. For local governments, sound planning decisions now could be critical to line up projects and prepare for future funding.
C.T. Male can offer a variety of project planning and infrastructure funding strategy services to help prepare communities for financing opportunities. Contact us for additional information.
Jim Thatcher, Manager of Community Development
[email protected] 518.786.7652
Melanie Krause, Community Development Specialist
[email protected] 518.786.7414