SB09-165, Drinking Water Wastewater Small Grants

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SB09-165 is sailing through the state legislature so far, according to a report from K.C. Mason writing for the Sterling Journal-Advocate. From the article:

“There’s no money for the foreseeable future,” said Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, who along with Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, is the House sponsor of Senate Bill 165 (pdf).

The measure creates a new fund from severance taxes for grants from the Water Quality Control Commission to communities with a population of 5,000 or less. The grant program already exists, but hasn’t had any funding for three years. Under the bill, the state would have to collect at least $200 million in severance taxes for any money to go into the new fund. The latest estimates show severance tax revenue dropping from $238.3 million this year to $77.6 million next year and $171.4 million in fiscal year 2010-11. “The water providers in these communities are facing extreme challenges to keep up with unfunded federal and state mandates,” Gardner said. “There is a $1 billion backlog in funding for communities like Hillrose, Eckley, Julesburg and Brush.” SB 165 unanimously cleared the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee earlier this week and is scheduled for floor debate on Monday…

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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