As for the 13% who don’t know if they will spend more or less, one-third are still waiting to hear about grants, loans, and other project financing. The following federal actions may finally unleash project backlogs.
Farm Bill. In February, President Obama signed the Agriculture Act of 2014 authorizing $228 million in grants and loans for rural water and wastewater systems.
Water, sewer, and stormwater funding. In June, Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which provides $12.3 billion over 10 years. In addition to funding new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects, a $350 million pilot program (Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) provides low-interest State Revolving Fund loans to local governments.
Streets, roads, and bridges. MAP-21, the federal surface transportation funding package enacted in 2012, expires at the end of September. As of press time, Washington was still duking out reauthorization details.
Current Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funding is $600 million. The Senate proposes $550 million; the House, $100 million. Both houses propose $3.02 billion for Community Development Block Grants, roughly the same as this year.
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