The Division of Water Infrastructure is accepting comments on the draft Priority Rating System for Viable Utility Reserve (VUR) wastewater and drinking water construction project funding until November 1, 2021.
Session Law 2020-79 created the VUR. Local government utilities that are designated as distressed by the State Water Infrastructure Authority (Authority) and the Local Government Commission may apply for project funding from the VUR. Pursuant to §159G-39, the Division must rank each application for Authority review. The Authority must consider the Division's determination of priority when it reviews an application.
The Division and the State Water Infrastructure Authority use a Priority Rating System for projects seeking funding through the State Revolving Fund and State Reserve Programs. This priority rating system is being considered by the Authority for use in ranking applications to the VUR. The Authority tasked the Division with seeking public comment on the use of this Priority Rating System for VUR-funded construction projects.
The proposed rating system prioritizes assistance to community applicants with greater socioeconomic constraints. Under Category 4 of the proposed rating system, applicants from local governments that are smaller in size, charge higher water/wastewater rates, and/or have at least three indicators worse than state benchmarks (lower median household income, higher poverty rates, higher unemployment, lower population growth, and/or lower property valuation per capita) score higher, as they receive additional points in their applications.
Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the priority rating system by November 1, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Comments can be submitted:
- by email to Cathy.Akroyd@ncdenr.gov with subject line Draft VUR Priority Rating System Comments
- by phone to 919-707-9187
- by mail to:
Division of Water Infrastructure
1633 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1633
The draft VUR Priority Rating System for wastewater and drinking water projects is available at: https://files.nc.gov/ncdeq/WI/vur/Draft-Priority-Rating-System-for-VUR-projects-with-addtl-footnote-language.pdf