September 28, 2021 – El Paso County is now accepting Notices of Interest for high-impact and strategic water or wastewater infrastructure projects which the county will fund with a portion of COVID-19 recovery dollars. The county’s funds will help regional water and wastewater providers cope with the unique demands COVID-19 has placed on this crucial natural resource, while getting ahead of issues the county will face in the future.
“Water is Colorado’s most precious—and scarce—natural resource,” said El Paso County Commissioner Holly Williams. “El Paso County needs water to sustain its residents, military installations, increased growth, and a large agricultural industry. As commissioners, we want to help our water and wastewater providers respond to the demands placed on them by the pandemic. At the same time, we want to fund projects which solve our long-term water or wastewater needs like storage, replacement, and sustainability.”
Water or wastewater providers can complete the Notice of Interest here. All projects must meet federal eligibility requirements, which include 17 project categories under guidelines published through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Aside from those listed above, other examples of potential projects include improving drinking water transmission methods, upgrading water or wastewater facilities, or investments in cybersecurity. By submitting a Notice of Interest, the county can get a sense of the community’s need in this area and establish a clear line of communication with potential applicants prior to the release of the complete application on December 15, 2021.
Water and wastewater projects are just one area the county will support with COVID-19 recovery funds (commonly referred to as “The American Rescue Plan Act” or “ARPA”). Earlier this month, the county awarded over $10 million of grants to 627 local businesses and non-profits negatively impacted by the pandemic. The county has spent a total of $16.9M of ARPA funding towards public health’s response, public safety, and other economic recovery efforts. Future county COVID-19 relief projects will include more economic support for industries impacted by the coronavirus, investments in broadband connectivity for underserved portions of El Paso County, and workforce development. You can learn more about the county’s plans and programs by visiting our website.