Tennessee eyes water, sewer work with federal recovery money

Published 1:43 pm Thursday, June 3, 2021

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee state panel is considering using federal coronavirus recovery money for big investments in water and sewer system upgrades.
At a meeting Wednesday of the state’s Financial Accountability Stimulus Group, state Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers estimated a request of more than $1 billion for water and sewer projects, which are among the spending categories allowed under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
The state expects a fiscal recovery fund from the law of about $3.7 billion, while Tennessee local governments will have autonomy to spend almost $2.3 billion within permitted categories, from broadband to public health improvements.
State officials on Wednesday mulled offering grants to match local governments if they spend their share on water and sewer initiatives. House Speaker Cameron Sexton recommended that water projects get priority over sewer investments.
The federal money must be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024, and spent by Dec 31, 2026.

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