Legislature to Allocate Funding to 87 Water and Sewerage Projects
BATON ROUGE — Last week, the Louisiana Legislature’s Water Sector Commission made recommendations to allocate funding to 87 water and sewerage projects across the state. The Water Sector program was created in 2021 to provide grant funding for repairs, improvements and consolidation of community water and sewer systems around the state. $300 million from the American Rescue Plan Act was provided to the program.
Commissioner Jay Dardenne and Assistant Commissioner Mark Moses from the Division of Administration spoke at the meeting to give updates on the vetting and rating process for entities that applied for funding from Aug. 1, to Nov. 1, 2021.
More details from the Legislature’s communications office:
“From the $300 million, the Water Sector Commission had previously approved on Nov. 30, 2021 an allocation of $22,983,007 from the Water Sector Fund to 29 entities. An initial amount of $2,000,000 was also allocated to the Division of Administration for administrative expenses for the program. Through today’s approvals, an additional $274,150,604 would be allocated, with $179,408,109 going toward water projects and $94,742,495 going toward sewer projects. This would fund 87 entities from the approved list, and allow the program to fulfill as many requests as possible without exceeding the spending limit. The funds will address infrastructure repairs for public water systems that have critical needs, some of which have had compliance issues. These much-needed upgrades will help to ensure healthy drinking water for thousands of Louisianans.”
Co-chairs of the Water Sector Commission, Senator Mike Reese and Representative Jerome Zeringue, commented on the decisions and gave encouragement to those projects that were not chosen that future funding will be available for them.
“We are leading the country in the deployment of American Rescue Plan Act funds, and are pleased that we have been able to reach every region in Louisiana to start addressing these water and sewer needs, and hope to continue completing projects far into the future,” said Reese.
“This system has proven to be successful in terms of addressing the truly critical needs,” said Zeringue. “The allocation of funds is not perfect, but we have demonstrated here that we can do this in a fair and equitable manner, and reach the most critical projects first. In the future, if we continue to put money toward this fund, we can address those remaining projects and get much-needed help to these communities.”