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IMMOKALEE– The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently awarded $2.7 million to the Immokalee Water and Sewer District for drinking water system improvements. The funds, part of DEP’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) Program, will pay for upgrades to the existing system to improve water quality and reliability.
The project will alleviate the low water pressures in the district’s distribution system, which will improve the reliability of the existing water treatment plants and better water pressure for fire protection. In addition, it will provide ample water supply and flexibility in connecting with other utilities in the service area and better water quality.
The funds awarded to the Immokalee Water and Sewer District are a part of the approximately $217 million awarded to Florida from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to help local governments finance improvements to wastewater, stormwater and drinking water facilities essential to protecting public health and the environment across the state. Florida was one of the first states to have met all the requirements necessary to receive the full amount of ARRA funds to support both the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) as well as the DWSRF.
“In order to protect water quality and public health for our citizens, it is essential that we invest in our wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure. The stimulus funds advance our ongoing efforts to provide needed funding for infrastructure to local communities,” said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. “We have had a tremendous demand for this ARRA funding, which will help build valuable public projects.”
Immokalee Water and Sewer District is one of 58 projects in 52 Florida communities scheduled to receive ARRA money to help build critical drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.
DEP has committed all $217 million in available CWSRF and DWSRF ARRA funding. Qualifying projects were selected for ARRA funding, based on their readiness and priority, at public hearings held on February 25, May 13 and August 12. DEP will also continue to work with all applicants to help them apply for other funding as it becomes available.
DEP received more than $850 million in requests for the $85 million of ARRA drinking water project funds and more than $1.5 billion in requests competing for $132.3 million in ARRA wastewater and stormwater funding.
DEP established its SRF programs, under agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to provide low-interest financing to plan, design and build wastewater, stormwater and drinking water systems. Funded by federal capitalization grants, state matching funds, loan repayments, interest earnings, and periodic bond issues, SRF loans are offered at interest rates substantially below current market rates and help make loans affordable. Repayments from earlier loans are used to make new loans, allowing the program to operate in perpetuity.
Since 1999, Florida has invested more than $3.7 billion to upgrade and improve water and wastewater facilities and clean up stormwater pollution, funding about 2,400 projects statewide. Since its inception, the DWSRF program has committed more than $430 million to plan, design and build drinking water facilities across the state, including more than $49 million last year.
For more information on the State Revolving Funds, visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wff.
For a complete list of communities scheduled to receive ARRA funding, visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2009/05/0522_02.htm.
For more information about Florida’s use of the federal recovery dollars made available through ARRA, please visit www.FlaRecovery.com.
"The stimulus funds advance our ongoing efforts to provide needed funding for infrastructure to local communities."
Michael W. Sole
Last updated: February 03, 2010