In A Flash

Hundreds of Louisiana water and sewer systems seek funding from state

By: - September 19, 2022 6:00 pm
water meter

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More than 335 local water and sewage systems in Louisiana have asked the state for a total of $954 million in financial assistance – more than twice the amount the state has to give. For the fortunate ones that receive money, their customers could have to pay higher bills.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and state legislators set aside $450 million in federal funding for the state’s current budget cycle to help local water and sewer systems. 

The Edwards’ administration is expected to whittle down the list of projects that will receive funding by the end of October using a preset scoring system for the proposals. Lawmakers who sit on the Water Sector Commission will also have to approve funding for the projects. 

Last fiscal year, Edwards and lawmakers allocated $300 million from the federal government to local water and sewer problems. Projects that received money then aren’t eligible for this year’s round of support.

The systems that receive assistance must agree to set customer rates that will make their operations sustainable. Lawmakers require all systems getting funding to go through a recent rate study to determine what they will need to charge customers in the future.

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Julie O'Donoghue
Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator and producer of the Louisiana Illuminator podcast. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press. Julie covered state government and politics for | The Times-Picayune for six years. She’s also covered government and politics in Missouri, Virginia and Washington D.C. Julie is a proud D.C. native and Washington Capitals hockey fan. She and her partner, Jed, live in Baton Rouge. She has two stepchildren, Quinn and Steven.