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It’s a good time to plan Missouri water projects

The White House in a March assessment determined Missouri needs to invest nearly $9 billion in water infrastructure over the next 20 years to sustain current standards and accommodate growth.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in a 2018 forecast said Missouri would need about $8.5 billion in drinking water, wastewater and stormwater upgrades by 2030 to maintain current standards,

State lawmakers are certain to funnel federal pandemic assistance and infrastructure money into these infrastructure needs when they convene their 2022 session on Jan. 5.

Missouri is slated to receive about $8 billion for infrastructure projects as part of the five-year $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill approved by the U.S. Senate in August but hung up in the House, where some Democrats are lobbying to nearly triple it.

Gov. Mike Parson last week alerted communities to two funds managed by the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that offer below-market financing to counties, municipalities and water/sewer districts for capital projects, noting Perryville recently received $27 million in assistance for a $30.3 million upgrade.

“Keeping Missouri’s infrastructure strong and resilient is one of our top priorities,” Parson said. “We do that one community at a time, and that takes collaboration and creative problem-solving at all levels. Because finding manageable project funding is often a challenge for some of our communities, we have to make viable solutions available like those offered through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.”

Both state revolving funds offer subsidized interest rates of 70% below the 20-year municipal market rate and a 0.5% annual administration fee. They are funded wholly or in part with monies received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program provides low-interest financing to construct wastewater projects and other projects that improve water quality. Counties, municipalities and regional water/sewer districts may apply.

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program provides low-interest financing for drinking water projects that protect public health. Counties, municipalities, districts, not-for-profit corporations that provide a regional water supply, and investor-owned water utility corporations, may apply.

According to DNR, “State revolving fund borrowers benefit from low interest rates, as well as personalized assistance from a dedicated department project manager.”

“Grants and low-interest loans through the State Revolving Fund help Missouri communities with water and wastewater treatment system improvements that they might not have been able to undertake otherwise,” DNR Director Dru Buntin said. “We are here to help Missouri communities plan and fund infrastructure improvements that will help protect public and environmental health and provide local economic benefits as well.”

Perryville’s $30.3 million wastewater treatment facility upgrade includes $26 million from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, a $1 million Water Quality Incentive Grant and $3.3 million in other sources.

The funding should save city ratepayers $1 million in principal and approximately $5.9 million in interest over the loans’ 20-year terms, according to DNR.

In March, DNR awarded a $15 million low-interest loan through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to Springfield for upgrades to its wastewater treatment system. The loan is estimated to save city ratepayers $2.9 million in interest over its 20-year term.

“Every community relies on key infrastructure for stability and growth, so it is crucial that those systems are kept up to date,” Parson said. “By taking advantage of available funding assistance and expertise, communities like Springfield can make much-needed updates to their water and wastewater systems and benefit from substantial cost savings.”

This article was originally posted on It’s a good time to plan Missouri water projects

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