Metropolitan Council Environmental Services has good news for the 79 communities in the region eligible for municipal inflow and infiltration grants: an additional $5 million is now available.
Thanks to advocacy by Metro Cities, the 2018 Minnesota Legislature allocated $5 million to the Council for the 2017 Municipal I/I Grant Program. A year earlier, the Legislature had allocated $3.7 million for the program.
Municipalities can use the grant funds for capital improvements to local wastewater collection systems to reduce the amount of clear water—stormwater and groundwater—that enters the systems. Excessive I/I can overload wastewater pipes and can cause costly sewage backups into homes and buildings. It can also cause sewage overflows into rivers and lakes.
Council doubles initial reimbursement for eligible expenses
The Council recently approved two amendments to the I/I grant program, with the goal of helping as many communities as possible—particularly small communities with smaller projects. The first amendment doubles the initial reimbursement the Council will provide to communities for eligible expenses from $25,000 to $50,000.
In addition, eligible communities who did not apply for grants last fall may now apply, through Aug. 31. MCES will notify communities by Sept. 21 of their preliminary minimum grant allocation.
Communities who have already applied and received grants will be automatically eligible for up to $50,000 in initial reimbursement for eligible grant expenses. All communities must provide matching funds to Council grants.