Idaho Department of Environmental Quality awards $51 million in water project grants

BOISE (Idaho Capital Sun) – The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality announced it will award more than $51.3 million in construction grants to six drinking water and wastewater systems across the state using federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, according to a press release.

The projects are part of a $300 million allocation from the federal funds that Gov. Brad Little directed to be used for the DEQ.

“Water is our most valuable resource, and we absolutely must keep up the infrastructure to ensure water is clean and plentiful for this generation and future ones. That is why we made historic investments in water quality and quantity this year as part of my ‘Leading Idaho’ plan,” Little said. “These investments also could keep your property taxes low. Property taxes are determined locally, but the investments we made in water and other infrastructure needs at the state level help relieve the burden on local government to cover costs of projects, improving the chances property owners won’t be burdened with the costs.”

The funds are distributed through Idaho’s Revolving Loan Fund program, which provides low-interest loans and grants to qualified recipients to improve their drinking water and wastewater facilities. The criteria and list to expend the ARPA funds are listed online.

The following entities received funding:

City of American Falls: Nearly $11.5 million to construct a new well, install a water meter and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, and improve the water distribution system.

Kootenai County’s Carlin Bay Property Owners Association: More than $1.8 million to continue drinking water improvements, including a new lake intake, a new treatment plant and reservoir, reservoir repairs and improving the distribution line and pump station.

City of Franklin: $989,321 to aid in phase three of a drinking water project consisting of rehabilitating the equalization tank, installing an additional treatment skid and replacing pumps.

City of Preston: Awarded nearly $15 million to continue constructing wastewater treatment plant improvements, including new headworks, flow equalization, a tertiary filtration system, improved secondary treatment and clarifiers, and a redundant treatment capacity.

City of Rupert: Awarded more than $16 million to design and construct a membrane bioreactor, secondary filtration and a UV disinfection process. The improvements will update the facility from a class-B reuse facility to a class-A facility and provide additional redundancy.

Valley County’s Yellow Pine Water Users Association: Awarded more than $6 million to complete phase one of a drinking water project. This phase consists of intake modifications, construction of a new water treatment facility, storage reservoir modifications, water main replacement and easements.

The construction grants represent an estimated $75.1 million in savings to communities compared to average costs for municipal general obligation debt issuances. For more information about the program and to learn more about this year’s funding recipients, go to DEQ’s Construction Loans page.

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