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Beshear announces $30 million for clean water projects across state, including two in NKY

Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday announced $30 million in funding to support 29 clean drinking water and water system improvement projects affecting 1,245 households across the commonwealth, including two projects in Northern Kentucky.

“Having clean, reliable water service is a basic human right, and from the start of my administration I have prioritized funding major upgrades to these crucial utilities all across the commonwealth,” Beshear said. “We’ve provided hundreds of millions of dollars to communities through my Cleaner Water Program, enhancing regional systems and providing service for the first time to many residents and businesses. This latest round will provide $30 million to fund 29 projects that will make our people healthier and our communities more resilient.”

The Cleaner Water Program is part of Gov. Beshear’s Better Kentucky Plan, which is creating 14,500 jobs and helping to build better schools, expand access to high-speed internet, improve infrastructure and deliver clean drinking water and quality sewer systems across Kentucky.

(Image from governor’s website)

The Governor also announced that an additional $250 million from his Cleaner Water Program is now available for local utilities to submit projects for a second round of funding.

Twnety-nine recently approved projects are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA). An initial $250 million was appropriated through a bipartisan agreement at the close of the 2021 General Assembly for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky. New Northern Kentucky projects approved for funding from the Cleaner Water Program include:

Campbell County: $1 million to the Northern Kentucky Water District to extend a waterline 3.8 miles to serve 56 households in rural areas.

Kenton County: $1 million to the Northern Kentucky Water District to construct 5 miles of waterline extension to serve 81 households in predominately rural areas.

Beshear also announced an additional $250 million in funding for his Cleaner Water Program and asked local utilities to submit projects for the second round of funding.

“These funds build on the $250 million appropriated last year to deliver quality, clean drinking water to Kentuckians and maintain our sewer systems,” Gov. Beshear said. “Investing in our water infrastructure is a fundamental way we are building a better Kentucky by improving the wellbeing of our people while we fuel our record-breaking economic momentum.”

Starting July 21, water resource coordinators, representing Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts (ADDs) 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 water associations, may collaborate with a coordinator and council to submit a project. There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky.

The application process will be ongoing throughout 2022 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.

Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, $500 million has been appropriated through a bipartisan agreement with the General Assembly to provide clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky since 2021. The 2022 funding 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 at kia.ky.gov.

“The projects funded through this program will help Kentuckians for years to come,” Dennis Keene, commissioner of the Department for Local Government and KIA board chairman, said. “Quality water infrastructure is a basic need and investing in it is the smart thing to do.”

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.

Governor’s Office

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