Putnam County will receive some $11.3 million dollars from TDEC for water expansion projects.
Mayor Randy Porter said the funding comes from the state’s portion of the American Rescue Plan.
“What they are going to do is ask the county’s to work with the city’s and water utility districts to come up with projects that will either extend water lines, improve water lines or place water lines. Then, we will file those projects with the state.”
Porter said the initial plan is to focus on projects for homes without water connections. Porter said about 730 residences in rural Putnam County do not have the utility.
“A lot of those are in the Western part of the county around in the Martin’s Creek area down off Highway 70 going towards the Smith County line,” Porter said. “Then, we have up east going towards Monterey when you start going up Brotherton Mountain up towards Monterey down towards Phifer Mountain.”
Porter said the state has indicated it would pay anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of approved projects. Porter said the remainder would be paid through the county’s own American Rescue Plan dollars.
“We’ll probably have about $10 million from the county, so you’re looking at about $21 million total,” Porter said. “You’ll think that would go a long, long ways, but when you start running water lines in these remote areas, it gets pretty expensive.”
Porter said from what he understands, the funding should come down in January. Porter said the next step is to work with local utilities to create or review existing score cards to see which projects to pursue.
TDEC announced the almost one billion dollar infrastructure investment Monday. Each county will receive a base amount. Then, a county’s population will decide if more funding will come.