NASHVILLE – Warren County was awarded a grant for $5,596,564 this week when the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced six grants totaling $37,910,909 from the American Rescue Plan, part of which TDEC is administering for the state.
The American Rescue Plan, effective March 11, 2021, was designed to help Americans recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were provided to state and local governments for a variety of potential uses, including improving water infrastructure.
Tennessee received $3.725 billion from the ARP, and the state’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group dedicated $1.35 billion of those funds to TDEC to support water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure projects in communities throughout Tennessee. Of the $1.35 billion, approximately $1 billion was designated for non-competitive formula-based grants offered to counties and eligible cities. These grants are currently open for application. The remaining $269 million will go to state-initiated projects and toward competitive grants.
Grants announced are for Warren County, Greene County, Johnson County, Unicoi County, Mountain City and Clarksville. The list includes collaborative grants and non-collaborative grants. A collaborative project involves multiple entities such as cities, counties, utility districts or authorities working together on activities with a shared purpose or goal.
“These grants will address important water infrastructure needs across our state, especially in disadvantaged communities,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “We commend communities who have gone through the application process, and we look forward to the substantial improvements the grants will bring.”
“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.”
“We continue experiencing considerable growth across the state, and many of our communities require additional resources to address their evolving needs,” said Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville. “These grants will play a major role in ensuring cities and towns have access to infrastructure solutions that will enable them to continue thriving, so Tennessee remains a preferred destination for both businesses and families.”
“We are grateful to the local applicants, and we anticipate excellent results from these grants,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “This shows that Tennessee recognizes the need for improved water infrastructure and is committed to helping communities meet that need.”
Details of the grants announced today are:
Greene County – $7,693,909
The county along with five utility districts have partnered to work on a common goal of reducing critical drinking water needs. The partners will execute 10 projects, half of which are planning, design and construction projects. Projects include building Asset Management Plans for all drinking water systems, installing automated zone meters to identify and eliminate drinking water loss, replacing aging and failing distribution lines to improve service and arrest water loss and improving reliability and water pressure by establishing a continued loop of distribution lines.
Johnson County – $4,511,578
The county along with three utility districts and one city have partnered to work on a common goal of reducing critical drinking water needs throughout the county. The partners will execute 16 projects, more than half of which are planning, design, and construction projects. Projects will focus on building Asset Management Plans for all drinking water systems, installing automated zone meters to identify and eliminate drinking water loss, replacing aging and failing distribution lines to improve service and arrest water loss, installing new water storage tanks, building protective measures on a supply lake spillway and general water treatment plant updates.
Unicoi County – $3,789,925
The county along with two utility systems have partnered to work on a common goal of reducing critical wastewater and drinking water needs throughout the county. The partners will execute six planning, design, and construction projects. Projects will focus on developing Asset Management Plans for both partners, replacing aging and failing distribution lines to improve service and arrest water loss, updating the wastewater treatment plant, improving the lift station and replacing elements in the aging and failing collection system.
Warren County – $5,596,564
The county included three utility districts in their proposal, with projects focusing on critical needs in both drinking water and wastewater. These utility systems will execute a mix of five projects focused on infrastructure planning, design and construction. For drinking water, the utilities will focus on construction of a new storage tank and repairing or replacing aging distribution lines to improve service and eliminate water loss. The wastewater projects will focus on collection line repair or replacement to eliminate infiltration and inflow (I/I), install new pump stations to reduce overflows, and expand collection lines to service communities and public buildings currently not served by the sewer system.
City of Clarksville – $15,388,497
The money will be used to further support the efforts to address issues in the city’s federal consent decree. Clarksville will couple its ARP money with existing funds to construct a thermal dryer as part of its current wastewater treatment plant. The dryer will convert biosolids to a pelletized product suitable for land application as a fertilizer.
Mountain City – $935,919
The city plans to execute a drinking water and a wastewater planning, design and construction project. Mountain City will use the funds to modernize its existing wastewater treatment plant and execute a feasibility study focused on the possibility of installing a new drinking water well for more water supply capacity.
TDEC is focusing the grants on the following goals:
- Protect and promote human health and safety and improve the quality of water by supporting water systems in non-compliance to work toward compliance with water quality requirements
- Improve the technical, managerial and financial capabilities of small, disadvantaged, or underserved water infrastructure systems
- Address critical water infrastructure needs across the state
TDEC’s strategy for deployment of ARP funds is described in the Water Infrastructure Investment Plan. This plan was developed by TDEC based on input from leaders and experts from agencies internal and external to state government. The plan can be found at this link. Funds from the ARP must be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024 and expended by Dec. 31, 2026.