Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where's the money?

Tonight we are chasing down the Grants/Awards Summary for Storey County from the Recovery.gov website.

So far we see:
$350,714 going into Sub-award 2610-15-8615 - STOREY COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, for salaries and suport;


$1,361,000 to the Canyon General Improvement District with this quote:
"This federal grant provides funding to the State of Nevada to capitalize its revolving loan fund for financing the construction of wastewater treatment facilities, green infrastructure, program administration and clean water releated activities. The primary purposes of the agreement are to preserve jobs and promote economic recovery."
The Recipient:
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection,
David Emme.

AND NOTHING ELSE? Click the Recovery.com link and see if you find anything else to our local benefit. I didn't. Nevada is #32 of the 50 states listed. This funding above is out of $275 billion available for federal contracts, grants and loans; or about .6% (or 6 one thousandths) of the available money. Jobs created have become a topic of controversy on local television. For certain, there are obvious questions regarding the makeup of the crews working in LCC.
UPDATE: November 19th
Read Mr. Emme's email replay in Comments to this entry below. Calls following up have not as yet been returned.

1 comment:

Tim Kelly said...

Letter received from Mr. Emme on November 19th...
Mr Kelly,
Our office administers State Revolving loan fund programs for wastewater treatment and drinking water infrastructure projects. We are not funding any water treatment projects in Lockwood. However, using federal stimulus funds, we recently awarded a loan to construct a pipeline to manage effluent from the Canyon GID treatment plant. Since it was using stimulus funds, this loan provided for principal forgiveness, essentially a grant that would not result in any rate increases.

A similar grant/loan program for water and wastewater projects is administered by the Federal USDA Rural Development program. According to their staff, they awarded financing to Canyon GID for a wastewater treatment project that is under construction. It was a combination of grant and loan. They require that loan recipients demonstrate how they will cover O&M costs, repayment of debt service and a debt reserve. This might be the source of the utility rate increase you are referring to. If you have questions about this project you could contact the USDA. The manager of the local USDA Rural Development office in Carson City is Kay Vernatter, 887-1222.

In general, both the State and Federal programs provide low cost financing of infrastructure projects, but we try to ensure the utility is sustainable on its own by raising the revenue it needs to support its on-going costs and not relying too heavily on State or Federal subsidy. Neither program dictates specific rate increases but that’s typically the primary source of revenue since utilities are operated as enterprise funds. The utility is responsible for managing its infrastructure, seeking financing for new projects and informing its ratepayers. I hope I have answered your questions.

David Emme, Chief
Bureau of Administrative Services
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
901 S Stewart St, Suite 4001
Carson City, NV 89706
tel. 775.687.9307