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JEFFERSON CITY, MO, OCT. 19, 2021 - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is seeking information from Missouri communities on their water infrastructure funding needs. 

Drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure projects in Missouri are critical to providing essential service to Missouri citizens and businesses, but are largely underfunded. 

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides funds to state, local and tribal governments that may be used to make necessary investments in water and sewer infrastructure. However, most communities have water funding needs that far exceed the amount of ARPA grant funds they were directly allocated. 

Governor Parson has announced a commitment to offer grants from the state’s ARPA allocation for water infrastructure improvements. He will present his plan to the General Assembly at his State of the State address in January 2022. 

“Maintaining key infrastructure like water and sewer systems in Missouri communities is absolutely crucial and one of our top priorities,” said Governor Mike Parson. “We want to hear from and engage our communities that are in need of water system upgrades and funding assistance. Their input will help inform our decision making and ensure we are using ARPA funds to make strategic, responsible investments.” 

To better understand the scope of Missouri infrastructure needs associated with wastewater, drinking water and stormwater utilities, the department is asking Missouri communities to complete a brief survey. The information gleaned from survey responses will help identify water infrastructure funding needs across the state and be used to develop state grant programs to help meet those needs.

The survey is intended to identify prospective projects that could be funded if grant funds were made available. The department is particularly interested in water infrastructure projects for which an engineering report has already been prepared, as well as projects that are difficult to finance with existing resources. Communities are encouraged to complete the survey with details about their projects, including estimated costs, available local cost share funding and the community’s demographic information.

Grant programs will favor applicants who propose projects that are necessary for compliance and public health protection, demonstrate financial need and that provide local matching funds (preferably local ARPA funds) to complete the work. Communities should consider retaining their local ARPA allocations to offer as matching funds for state ARPA grant programs. This will increase the community’s chances of being awarded funding from the state grant programs now being developed. 

"The survey responses we receive will help us design funding packages for communities that need to build essential infrastructure to protect public health and the environment, and to better serve their citizens and businesses.” said Dru Buntin, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

To submit water infrastructure projects, visit surveymonkey.com/r/MoDNR-ARPA. Surveys may be submitted until 5 p.m. Nov. 19, 2021.  

For more information, please contact the Water Protection Program’s Financial Assistance Center at fac@dnr.mo.gov or 573-751-1192.

To learn more about using ARPA funds for water infrastructure, visit State of Missouri’s Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Toolkit for Water, Wastewater and Stormwater at oa2.mo.gov/ARPAtoolkits/water-infrastructure
 

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