LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Gov. Rick Snyder announced a bold plan to improve Michigan’s water infrastructure by investing $110 million annually for critical updates. Funding would be used for priority local projects including water main and lead service line replacements upgrades for failing infrastructure through a new emergency fund, and integrated asset management.
“Critical updates are necessary to rebuild our state’s failing water infrastructure,” Snyder said. “Investing in our state’s water infrastructure needs is essential to ensure every Michigander has access to safe drinking water, protect our environment and continue our state’s outstanding economic growth.”
Gov. Snyder’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission’s report estimated that there is an $800 million annual gap in funding to meet our state’s critical water and sewer infrastructure needs. The Governor’s proposed plan to implement an affordable assessment on public water supply systems would generate approximately $110 million annually to help stimulate needed investments.
Integrated asset management is critical in developing a foundation for a sound and modern water infrastructure system in Michigan. It involves continually inventorying and assessing infrastructure condition so that regular investments can be made, improving public health, safety, and security of all water systems.
The state assessment on public water supply systems would be phased in with $1 added per year for five years. Only customers of public water supply systems serving 1,000 people or greater would be assessed.
Programs that would use the funds are:
• State Capital Investment Program ($75 million):
--- Provide grants for local infrastructure improvements (such as lead service line replacement)
--- Provide low-interest and forgivable loans for other local capital improvements
• Emergency Infrastructure Failure Fund ($10 million)
--- Provide grants for communities and systems in financial need with emerging water or sewer failures.
• Integrated Asset Management ($25 million)
--- Fund asset management plans for drinking water wastewater and stormwater systems
--- Support local data collection, materials inventory, and training needs
Eighty percent of the assessment collected would be allocated to the region in which it was generated, ensuring the money raised stays in the communities that are providing it.