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Grants, ARPA help defray cost of City's water, sewer infrastructure projects

The City of Abbeville has been busy investing in water and sewer infrastructure, according to the City's Deputy Administrative Officer Mike Clary.

Clary said that a total of $14,444,599.23 has been invested into the City's Water and Sewer System since 2018.

Of that total, $10,976,580 has been funded through grants, and $2,067,448 was funded through ARPA funds.

ARPA funds are generated through the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, designed to help address the effects on the economy of the pandemic.

The City contributed operating funds of $1,400,571.23 across all projects.

"For North Main specifically, no funds came from the City's operating funds," he said. "The City received a $500,000 grant from the Rural Infrastructure Authority and the remaining funds ($2,067,448) were ARPA dollars."

The choice of projects reflects a blend of comprehensive planning, and flexible responses to more immediate needs.

"So the City uses its Comprehensive Plan as a guide for planned projects, including infrastructure. The order of planned projects for infrastructure is typically based on need factors such as age, condition, economic development potential, and continued compliance with state and federal guidelines. However, the order of projects can be subject to change due to a number of other factors. These include funding availability, specific grants that are available, timing with other improvements such as DOT's planned repaving of North Main, etc.

For example, North Main was one of the oldest lines in the City and that, combined with the scheduled DOT repaving, made it a priority project (this saved the City millions of dollars in repaving costs). Other projects like the Wastewater Treatment Facility Renovation were completed in order to remain in compliance with state guidelines regarding sewage treatment."

Clary was asked how the City of Abbeville compares with other communities in its water and sewer infrastructure projects.

"I would say that for a community of this size we are extremely active in terms of infrastructure projects."

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