State grants to help Dresden, Gleason with water and sewer projects


The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued good news last week for communities across the state that will benefit from nearly $300,000,000 in grant funding. Among those recipients are Dresden and Gleason. Both received more than $1 million each in funds.

Dresden was awarded a $1,604,005 non-collaborative grant.

The City of Dresden will use ARP funds to develop an Asset Management Plan and address infiltration and inflow. Projects include a comprehensive sewer system study of approximately 50,000 linear feet of sewer system lines, sewer system rehabilitation, smoke testing, cleaning, and manhole inspections.

Gleason, in collaboration with Weakley County, was awarded $1,384,057 in grant funds.

The City of Gleason will use ARP funds to develop an Asset Management Plan, reduce water loss, and rehabilitate infrastructure. Projects include the replacement of 670 existing water meters with new advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) meters, and cleaning and CCTV of sanitary sewer system lines.

TDEC announced 131 grants totaling $299,228,167 from the state’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) fund, part of which TDEC is administering in the form of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure grants. Since August, TDEC has awarded and announced $933,632,711 in grant funds through ARP programming.

Of the 131 grants announced last week, 29 are collaborative grants and 102 are non-collaborative grants. Collaborative grants involve multiple entities (cities, counties, or water utilities) partnering on projects to work toward a shared purpose. All grants awarded represent 469 individual drinking water, wastewater, and/or stormwater infrastructure projects.

Tennessee received $3.725 billion from the ARP, and the state’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group dedicated $1.35 billion of those funds to TDEC to support water projects in communities throughout Tennessee. Of the $1.35 billion, approximately $1 billion was designated for non-competitive formula-based grants offered to counties and eligible cities to address systems’ critical needs. Those include developing Asset Management Plans, addressing significant non-compliance, updating aging infrastructure, mitigating water loss for drinking water systems, and reducing inflow and infiltration for wastewater systems.

The grants announced last week are part of the $1 billion non-competitive grant program. The remaining funds ($269 million) will go to state-initiated projects and competitive grants.

“As Tennessee continues to experience unprecedented growth, we’re prioritizing critical infrastructure investments that will address the needs of Tennesseans and give local communities the resources needed to thrive,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “We look forward to the improvements these projects will bring, and we commend the communities who have gone through the application process.”

“We are grateful to the local applicants, and we anticipate excellent results from these grants,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “This shows that Tennessee recognizes the need for improved water infrastructure, and we are grateful for the leadership of Governor Lee and the General Assembly in seeing that communities get this assistance.”