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63 Communities, Including Lewiston to Benefit From “Leading Idaho” Drinking Water, Wastewater Improvement Projects

BOISE – The State of Idaho approved plans to roll out $300 million in water and wastewater infrastructure project funding benefiting 63 communities across Idaho, a step that could help local governments keep property taxes low as they formulate their budgets this summer and fall.

“Water is our most valuable resource, and we absolutely must keep up the infrastructure ensure water is clean and plentiful for this generation and future ones. That is why we made historic investments in water quality and quality this year as part of my ‘Leading Idaho’ plan,” Governor Little said. These investments also could keep your property taxes low. Property taxes are determined locally but the investments we made in water and other infrastructure needs at the state level help relieve the burden on local government to cover costs of projects, improving the chances property owners won’t be burdened with the costs.”

The Idaho Board of Environmental Quality on Thursday last week approved the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) criteria and fundable list to expend the $300 million recommended by Governor Little and appropriated by the Idaho Legislature for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

The 63 communities identified will receive more than $285 million in funds for water infrastructure projects. The DEQ also provided almost $6 million for engineering planning studies for 136 water projects. 

Below are the local recipients:

“I appreciate the Governor and Legislature for directing needed funds toward Idaho’s critical water infrastructure needs,” DEQ Director Jess Byrne said. “These investments will provide much-needed support for many of Idaho’s small and rural communities while also helping to protect our water resources.”  

Governor Little’s Leading Idaho plan included more than $750 million to improve the quantity and quality of water throughout the state – a historic amount that includes $175 million for water infrastructure administered by the Idaho Department of Water Resources to ensure a dependable supply, $494 million for safe water systems administered by DEQ, and $80 million to improve water quality as prioritized by DEQ. The funds are a mix of federal and state sources.