The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) recently announced 49 grants totaling $191.2 million from the state’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) fund, part of which TDEC is administering through competitive grants for regionalization, water reuse, and resource protection, and a state strategic project.
Of the 49 grants announced today, 14 are for regionalization, eight for water reuse, and 27 for resource protection.
Regionalization projects will provide cooperative support across water and wastewater systems to improve the sustainability, affordability, and/or reliability of systems. Water reuse projects will reclaim water from a variety of sources then treat and reuse it for beneficial purposes. Resource protection projects will either improve water infrastructure resilience to extreme weather events, improve the management of stormwater to improve water quality, and/or restore natural landscape features such as streams or wetlands. The additional strategic project will address regional wastewater needs.
Counties and cities, water utility districts, water utility authorities, and for-profit water infrastructure systems – if in partnership with one of the eligible entities as the lead grant applicant – were eligible to apply.
“These water infrastructure grants provide assistance to communities across the state, and accelerate progress in rural Tennessee,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “I commend the communities that have participated in the application process and look forward to the results of these investments.”
“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.”
“Our infrastructure needs continue to evolve, and we must focus on providing resources that ensure all communities remain successful,” said Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville. “These grants will help address immediate, emerging, and long-term needs and preserve resources so Tennessee remains a preferred destination for businesses and families.”
“This process demonstrates the importance of quality water infrastructure throughout the state, and we are glad we can help make the best investments possible from these funds,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “This is a significant step in providing the water service communities deserve.”
Locally, grants were awarded to:
Warren County Utility District, $9,500,000
Warren County Utility District, in partnership with the City of Spencer, will use ARP funds to address regional drinking water needs. The project entails the replacement of Spencer’s water system infrastructure in preparation for the system’s merger with Warren County Utility District, improving water quality and quantity for residents in the region.
City of McMinnville, $503,500
The City of McMinnville will use ARP funds to address stormwater challenges faced by the watershed. The project entails the creation of a park consisting of a wetland rain garden, a detention pond, and a permeable paver parking lot and walking path.
City of McMinnville, $503,500
The City of McMinnville will use ARP funds to rehabilitate a wetland through strategic planting of hydrophytic plants, create a conservation easement, and some light grading to divert water to the center of the wetland. Infrastructure improvements will increase resilience to extreme weather events, improve stormwater management, and restore natural landscape features for improved hydrology.