Kentucky Association of Counties

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The Kentucky Association of Counties

$250 million set aside for drinking water and wastewater in 2021 session

By Gracie Lagadinos, Government Affairs Associate
In the final hours of session, the General Assembly gutted a bill and allocated millions of the state’s American Rescue Plan Acts dollars to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) for drinking water and wastewater programs.

The American Society of Civil Engineers ranks Kentucky’s drinking water a C+ and its wastewater a C-. According to the society, the state’s “drinking water infrastructure needs have increased 33 percent from 2013 to 2017, with a current estimate of $8.2 billion over 20 years.” The 2012 Clean Watersheds Needs Survey revealed the need of Kentucky’s wastewater projects totaled to $6.2 billion. 

SB36, by Sen. Whitney Westerfield, allocates $250 million of the state’s ARPA funds to address the severe need for updated drinking water and wastewater systems across the commonwealth. 

According to the legislation, each county will be allotted a significant amount to serve as a funding cap for projects. 

These dollars will be administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority. The bill says that KIA shall promulgate administrative regulations concerning the legislation. KACo is in communication with KIA regarding this important legislation and will update members as more information becomes available. 

$250 million for drinking water and wastewater- SB36 Sen. Whitney Westerfield

  • Original bill language was deleted.
  • Appropriates $250 million of the state’s ARPA dollars to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority for the Drinking Water and Wastewater Grant Program.
  • Of that $250 million, $150 million shall be allocated to each county based on population. The county allocations shall be determined by each county's proportion of the state's population from the 2019 census data.
  • Funding in the amount of $50 million shall be available to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority for grants to counties to provide drinking water services to unserved rural customers or counties under a federal consent decree.
  • Funding in the amount of $49,925,000 shall be available to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to supplement a project grant for a project whose cost is more than a county's allocation amount and other available grant sources.
  • Allocations for projects that include multiple counties are eligible to access allocations from affected counties.
Kentucky Association of Counties
400 Englewood Drive Frankfort, KY 40601