What to Expect from the Recent BIL

The recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed by Congress in 2021, has garnered excitement across the infrastructure industries. Although it is a significant investment in United States infrastructure, over $110 billion to be exact, there are a few limitations to this funding. Dig Deep CEO, Tia Cavender spoke with Municipal Water Leader on what to expect from the recent BIL.

The BIL funds will be distributed over a 5-year period. For pre-existing programs, those funds will be available more quickly, but developing new grant or loan programs takes time and resources. If your project meets the criteria for a disadvantaged community, you will be more competitive in the search for federal funding than projects in affluent communities.

When it comes to how the funds will be distributed, Tia Cavender states, “much of the water infrastructure investments enacted through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) will be provided to local governments in the form of principal forgiveness funds. Ultimately, the bottom-line effect is a huge reduction in the overall cost of a project that is financially equivalent to receiving a grant from the government but is tied to a low-interest loan administered by the state.”

“One of the most important things public officials can do is to temper their expectations. Yes, the total amount of grant funds sounds substantial, but when you break it down by state and then into individual projects, it’s still not enough money to address what needs to be addressed.” Tia Cavender says. It’s a start towards more funding opportunities, but there’s always more work to be done.

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