Since early 2022, the staff of the First Tennessee Development District have been working closely with the governments of seven counties and eleven municipalities to secure Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) American Rescue Plan (ARP) grants funds totaling $62,249,483.97. This staggering sum will be utilized over the next few years to address critical system needs through 91 projects including drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure projects. These funds were made available through from the $1.35 billion TDEC received from Tennessee’s Financial Stimulus Accountability Group to support water projects in Tennessee communities. These funds represent a portion of the $3.725 billion received by Tennessee from the American Plan Act of 2021.
Early projects are beginning to come on line in communities throughout the region. These include water line improvements and extensions in Greene, Johnson, and Washington Counties with many more to come. Contractors such as Horizon Underground, Thomas Construction, and Merkel Bros. describe these projects as "in the dirt" or underway.
In addition to the countless staff hours devoted to developing these projects at the local level, all, if not most of them have passed through the hands of Christina Wichlin, a community development coordinator on staff with the FTDD. Working closely with local utility districts and community officials to determine their critical infrastructure needs, Christina has become an expert in local needs as this work has progressed. “Meeting with Utility Managers and elected officials, it was evident that this funding is crucial to keeping quality water service affordable in our area,” shared Wichlin. She went on to add that, “over 50% of the construction projects funded will replace aging infrastructure, benefiting citizens through fewer service interruptions and long-term cost savings.” While communities and local utilities work to spin up or implement projects through 2026, Wichlin has encouraged all those involved to keep her phone or email handy.
Below is a breakdown of the TDEC ARP funding secured in the region through the FTDD.
For questions related to TDEC ARP funding, please contact Christina Wichlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions related to this or other District News, please contact Mark Stevans at email@example.com.