The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has announced public meetings on a new source of funding for projects that will protect water quality in Iowa. Many different types of projects, including riparian buffers, conservation easements, wetland restoration, stream bank stabilization, habitat enhancements and dam removals may be eligible for funding under the new program, according to the Council’s water program director, Susan Heathcote.
The following is from DNR:
The public is attend a public meeting to discuss the guidelines for “Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Projects,” a new source of water quality funding through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
During the 2009 Iowa General Assembly session, legislation was passed to allow a new method for funding water quality protection. The Iowa Code was amended to add a new category of projects that can be financed with sewer revenues. This new category, called “water resource restoration sponsored projects,” includes locally directed, watershed-based projects to address water quality problems.
This program will be implemented through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), a loan program for construction of water quality facilities and practices. On a typical CWSRF loan, the utility borrows principal and repays principal plus interest and fees. On a CWSRF loan with a sponsored project, the utility borrows for both the wastewater improvement project and the sponsored project. However, through an overall interest rate reduction, the utility’s ratepayers do not pay any more than they would have for just the wastewater improvements. Instead, two water quality projects are completed for the cost of one.
Three public meetings are scheduled:
Friday, November 16, 2012
9:30 a.m. 10:00 a.m.
DNR Water Supply Office 401 SW 7th Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Harlan Community Library
718 Court Street
Harlan, IA 51537
Monday, December 10, 2012
Coralville Public Library
1401 5th Street
Coralville, IA 52241
The purpose of the public meetings is to gather input from program stakeholders on the proposed guidelines and procedures for sponsored projects. The proposal will be presented to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) for approval. Pending that approval, State Revolving Fund staff will develop application forms and send out a solicitation for sponsored projects.
Follow this link to view the “DRAFT 11/5/2012 Water Resource Restoration Sponsored Projects Application Process” which will be presented at the meetings for discussion. Oral comments will be recorded at the meetings for consideration in the final draft. Written comments will also be accepted through Monday, December 17, 2012.
Submit written comments (or questions about the public meetings or funding plan) to Patti Cale-Finnegan, Iowa DNR, 401 SW 7th Street, Suite M, Des Moines, IA 50309; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; fax 515-725-0348.