Gov. Little prioritizes water systems with planning grants

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BOISE, Idaho — In the coming years, Idaho communities could upgrade their water systems with funds being directed by Gov. Brad Little for engineering and planning costs.

Gov. Little announced on Friday that he directed $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to administer additional planning grants to communities, for wastewater and drinking water systems.

“I’ve stated from the start that we would prioritize these federal relief funds for long-range investments that will benefit our grandchildren – the generation that will have to pay off the massive federal debt. Clean, reliable water sources are fundamental to the health and prosperity of Idaho citizens and businesses now and in the future,” he said. “Millions of dollars in new funding are available to local governments to significantly improve their water systems in the coming years but in order for them to access the funds, they need to start planning right now. These new planning grants help ensure communities across Idaho are in the best position possible to significantly upgrade the water systems we rely on.”

The state received $1.2 billion in ARPA funds, which can be used for local water projects. Gov. Little said he will seek legislative approval next session to devote additional funds toward new water projects. However, under U.S. Treasury guidance, the projects has to be completed by the end of 2026.

This means local governments need to get their required engineering reports done as quickly as possible. The $2 million grants will be used to develop engineering reports that identify the most cost-effective and environmentally sound method of upgrading a system to achieve and maintain compliance with state and federal standards.

Through HB 370, $50 million from the ARPA State Fiscal Recovery Fund to the Idaho Division of Financial Management funds additional planning grants for the current fiscal year.


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