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TDEC announces 23 cities to share in 24 ARP grants toatling $125.9M

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The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced 23 cities will share in 24 grants totaling more than $125.9 million from the state’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) fund, part of which TDEC is administering in the form of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure grants.

Bluff City, Brentwood, Byrdstown, Columbia, Cookeville, Elizabethton, Gatlinburg, Harriman, Jonesborough, Kingsport, Lebanon, Manchester, Martin, McMinnville, Metro Nashville, Newbern, Oak Hill, Obion, Rogersville, Springfield, and Surgoinsville were all recipients of grants. 
In addition to its individual grant, Elizabethton will also be partnering in a collaborative grant with Carter County while Wartburg will partner with Morgan County for a grant project. A grant for the city of Harriman will also benefit the nearby town of Oakdale. Carroll County also received grant funding from the project.

Bluff City will utilize $747,874 in grant funds for critical needs identified at the local water treatment plant including include the installation of a systems control and data acquisition system, an automated raw water bypass, and new turbidimeters.

Brentwood will receive $2,201,675 for a drinking water infrastructure improvement project to address infrastructure, water loss reduction, and plans for the replacement of lead service lines for drinking water systems.

Byrdstown has received $3,365,267 to be leveraged with SRF, USDA, and Appalachian Regional Commission funds to complete a drinking water and wastewater project to add a sedimentation basin and backwash lagoon for water treatment as well as sewer system improvements.

The city of Columbia will use $4,819,505 for three wastewater projects addressing the renovation of a wastewater treatment plant and replacing old sewer lines as well as the replacement of a sewage pumping station in the Duck River. Cookeville will receive $5,341,691 for a collaborative project with Putnam County that will leverage SRF funds for a water treatment expansion project. 

The city of Elizabethton will utilize $2,431,279 to complete the second phase of its water meter installation project that will reduce unexpected losses. In conjunction with Elizabethton and several other utility districts in the area, Carter County received $7,478,770 to support 21 drinking water projects in critical areas. 

Gatlinburg will use $403,670 funds to improve the city’s water treatment and distribution system and its wastewater collection system through water loss and leak detection services, GIS mapping updates, and a facility assessment. 

Harriman will utilize $3,191,759 through a collaborative project with the town of Oakdale and Roane and Morgan Counties to develop an asset management plan, eliminate excess water loss, and update aging equipment. Jonesborough will replace approximately 13,000 system meters with new automatic meters through its $1,005,596 grant. 

Kingsport will apply $6,955,642 to three projects addressing water loss reduction, infiltration and inflow reduction, modernization of equipment, and stormwater master planning. Lebanon will utilize $3,979,492 to address three critical needs including drinking water treatment plant age, wastewater treatment plant age, and excessive infiltration and inflow.

The $1,647,819 grant for Manchester will help develop an asset management plan and conduct modernization of the water system. Martin will fund six drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater projects with $3,066,446, including the development of an asset management plan and replacing aging or outdated infrastructure. 

McMinnville will leverage $2,515,822 with SRF funds to conduct a large-scale project replacing the current filter building and laboratory and upgrading the existing settling basins, chemical storage building, and pumps and piping at the raw water intake. Nashville will use $63,418,244 to facilitate a planning, design, and construction wastewater system project. 

Newbern received $1,426,282 for the development of an asset management plan and modernization of lines in three projects. A grant of $738,569 will go to Oak Hill for the developing of a stormwater master plan and construction costs associated with the plan. 

Obion will leverage $702,241 with SRF and CDBG funds to replace critical, aging infrastructure. Rogersville’s $1,864,744 grant will be leveraged with SRF funds to replacing aging sanitary sewer infrastructure and upgrade waterlines. 

Springfield will use $2,479,962 to address critical capacity needs as the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Surgoinsville will utilize $826,137 for two wastewater extension and modernization projects and the creation of an asset management plan. 

In conjunction with Wartburg, Morgan county will use $5,084,639 for addressing critical wastewater and drinking water needs as well as an asset management plan in four local utility districts.  Carroll County also received $260,869. 

The grants announced follow the announcement of 18 grants totaling $72,496,030 from the ARP fund in August and October, bringing the total awarded by TDEC year-to-date to $198,450,037. The grants announced today include two collaborative grants and 22 non-collaborative grants to execute drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure planning, design, and construction projects.

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 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. 

The remaining funds will go to state-initiated projects and competitive grants.

“These grants will address important water infrastructure needs throughout our state, especially those among disadvantaged communities,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “We look forward to the improvements the projects will bring, and we commend the communities who have gone through the application process.”

“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 we are grateful for the leadership of Governor Lee and the General Assembly in seeing that communities get this assistance.”

TDEC is focusing these 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; and
  • 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. All funds from the ARP must be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024 and expended by Dec. 31, 2026.