Department of Commerce Program Manager Cathi Read briefed local elected officials on Friday on a variety of grant and loan programs for drinking and wastewater projects at the monthly Mayors’ Meeting hosted by the Lewis County Board of Commissioners.
Attendees were provided with a list of funding opportunities in the categories of planning, construction and emergency programs.
“As some of you are learning, funding programs are really becoming more interested in being able to determine how to distribute the very limited grant money and low-interest loan money that’s available,” she said.
Read went on to explain that state and federal agencies are increasingly using household incomes within a community, along with water rates and sewer rates as determining factors for approving grant monies.
It was noted that rural development Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) can provide amounts of $24,000 for a single jurisdiction for planning purposes. CDBG grants, she indicated, could also supply amounts from $250,000-$500,000 for construction and acquisition projects.
Eligible applicants for the CDBG construction program must reportedly present projects that benefit low-to-moderate income individuals in cities with fewer than 50,000 people and counties with fewer than 200,000 people.
When touching on emergency funding from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health for water repairs related to droughts, earthquakes, floods or loss of drinking water, she advised that “their definition of emergency is something that’s nature-caused and not a delay-in-maintenance caused.”