Leveraging ARPA Funds for Water Infrastructure: Challenges and Opportunities

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was designed to provide financial relief to communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a significant portion of the allocated funds across the country remain unspent. The underutilization of ARPA funds presents challenges as communities strive to meet legislative requirements and deadlines while effectively promoting equitable development and recovery. … Read more

Utility Rate Survey Results: Solid Waste

Data for the 2016 Annual Utility Rate Survey was solicited from utilities in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Solid waste, which includes curbside garbage collection and related services, is an important component of city services. Curbside trash collection charges were reported by 112 of the 222 respondents. A summary of the breakdown … Read more

USEPA Develops Publication to Outline Utility Customer Payment Assistance Options

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center recently published a compendium of utility customer assistance programs (CAPs). The publication includes information about a multitude of programs created to aid those who have difficulty paying their water and sewer bills. The USEPA says the programs range from discount programs for low … Read more

Construction Cost Trends

As utilities begin annual review and/or engage in ongoing refinement of their Capital Improvements Plan (CIP), it is helpful to understand how capital costs have fluctuated to get a sense of how they may change in the future. For this purpose, references such as the construction cost index (CCI) compiled by various national and regional … Read more

Reminder to Keep Your Facility’s Risk Management Plan Current

Every five years, facilities such as water and wastewater treatment plants, propane storage facilities, chemical distributors, and others are required to maintain and follow a Risk Management Program documented in a Risk Management Plan (RMP).  The rule applies to facilities that store specific amounts of the chemicals listed in Title 40 of the Code of … Read more

President Signs $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill that Includes WIFIA

The U.S. House and Senate approved spending legislation for the 2015 fiscal year that includes the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) pilot program, and President Barack Obama signed the omnibus appropriations package into law in mid-December. The spending bill will fund the federal government for the remainder of FY15. While the WIFIA portion … Read more