FRANKFORT, Ky. — Funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), $250 million has been appropriated for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky. There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky.
The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2019 projected that Kentucky faces nearly $14.5 billion in water/wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, including over $8.2 billion in drinking water upgrades and $6.2 billion in sewer system improvements.
Kentucky’s American Rescue Plan funding will be allocated in three ways:
- $150 million will be allocated based on each county’s proportion of the state’s population, with the exception of Jefferson County’s share, which is discounted by 50% based on its high per capita allocation from the federal act. A list of the allocations by county can be found here.
- $50 million is available for grants to utilities to provide drinking water services to unserved, rural customers or to utilities under a federal consent decree. The KIA shall consider social, economic and environmental benefits in determining the allocations.
- $49.9 million is available to supplement a project grant for a project with a cost in excess of a county’s allocation amount and other available grant sources. The social, economic and environmental benefits shall be considered in determining project allocations. KIA will receive $75,000 to administer the grant program.
A Better Kentucky Plan that will help Kentucky create 14,500 jobs and help build better schools, expand internet and deliver clean drinking water and quality sewer systems across Kentucky.
Starting June 1, Water Resource coordinators for Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts (ADD) and Area Water Management Councils may submit project profiles through the Water Resource Information System (WRIS) portal to indicate interest in funding from the Cleaner Water Program.
Eligible government agencies, such as city-owned water or sewer utilities, water commissions, water and sewer districts and counties, may collaborate with a coordinator and council to submit a project.
The application process will be ongoing throughout 2021 until all funding is committed. KIA will begin reviewing projects this summer and make awards continuously throughout the year. All grant awardees must obligate the funds by December 31, 2024.
Information about the Cleaner Water Program, as well as grants for broadband expansion, school facility upgrades and vocational education center renovations, can be found at https://governor.ky.gov/BetterKy/.