The Public Facilities Authority (PFA) has unveiled its Intended Use Plans (IUPs), which detail the projects that can be funded through the Clean Water Revolving Fund and Drinking Water Revolving Fund this fiscal year. You can find the clean water (wastewater and storm water) IUP list here and the drinking water IUP list here. These programs provide low-interest loans—and in some cases grants—to eligible local governments for water pollution control projects, including wastewater and stormwater, and drinking water projects.
To be eligible for inclusion on the IUP, local governments must first request placement on the project priority list. The PFA then adds projects to the IUP that have applied for inclusion and are on the project priority list. Typically, when the IUP list is released, the PFA identifies any carry-over projects from last year that are still eligible for funding and then identifies new projects that are within the fundable range for the agency.
However, due to the Legislature’s failure to pass a bonding bill that includes state matching funds for the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s capitalization grant program, the PFA may not have sufficient resources to fund any new projects. As a result, potentially 57 drinking water project requests totaling $203 million and 47 new wastewater and stormwater projects requests totaling $347 million in loan financing are not being added to the fundable range and may not receive financing this fiscal year.
Multiple CGMC projects are on the list of new clean water projects that are not fundable at this time, including Austin, Aurora, Fairmont, Foley, Eveleth, Melrose, Elbow Lake, Ortonville, Detroit Lakes, Mankato and Perham. Even more members are on the list of drinking water projects that are not fundable at this time, including Aurora, Wells, Elbow Lake, St. James, Mankato, Le Sueur, Waseca, Ortonville, Albert Lea, Pipestone, Detroit Lakes, Perham, Blooming Prairie, Red Lake Falls, Two Harbors and Redwood Falls. As a result, these cities may need to delay their projects or attempt to self-finance. Either of those options would increase the cost for our communities and delay essential infrastructure projects.
Several other CGMC-member projects are not considered eligible for the IUP at this time, either because they have not submitted final plans for the project or because the project is below the historical fundable range for the IUP.
If the Legislature passes a bonding bill with the necessary matching funds, the PFA has indicated that it would seek to amend its IUP to expand eligibility to many of the new projects.
The deadline for public comments on the draft IUP and project priority list is Sept. 18.