The Small Community Planning Grant Program was established to promote a proactive approach to water and wastewater infrastructure management. This program provides small communities with funds to hire an engineering consultant to develop a project specific engineering report. The engineering report’s level of detail will be on par with the facilities plan required for SRF projects.
The Small Community Planning Grant Program also includes utility rate analysis and review. Communities can access grant funds to procure professional services to conduct a rate analysis and review using the Show-me Ratemaker™.
The grant is available to systems serving a population of 2,500 or fewer. The project sponsor must be an entity of government (county, municipality, or township), or a special purpose district with the authority to construct a water or wastewater project (sanitary, water user, watershed, or water project). Nonprofit organizations are also eligible provided they were formed for the primary purpose of supplying water or sanitary service. Nonprofit water systems applying for this grant must meet the definition of a community water system (a public water system which serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents). This grant is not available for projects already on the State Water Plan. Grants will be made on a first come, first served basis.
An applicant must submit an original application to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The application will be reviewed by staff for completeness and technical merit. Staff will work with applicants to correct any identified deficiencies. The application is available for download or to complete online:
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources may make a small community planning grant award at any time following department review of the application.
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Communities will be reimbursed 80% of the cost of the engineering study upon completion of the engineering report. The maximum reimbursement a community may receive is $8,000 for a water engineering study. Wastewater related studies may receive reimbursement up to $10,000.
Communities conducting a utility rate analysis and review study may receive reimbursement of 80 percent of costs up to $1,600. The study must be an analysis using the Show-me Ratemaker™ process.
The remaining cost will be paid by the community and may consist of local cash or other non-state grant assistance. In-kind contributions will not be accepted as local match.
The engineering or utility rate report will be considered complete and payment made to the grantee only if all the items discussed in the Report Requirements section are addressed. The department will determine completeness of the study.
The engineering study must contain adequate information to be used as a facilities plan. An outline of items that must be included in a facilities plan is located in the Small Community Planning Grant application. A professional engineer licensed in the state of South Dakota must prepare the study.
The Show-me Ratemaker™ analysis must be conducted by a recognized technical assistance provider or financial planning professional competent in providing this service. The report must include the background assumptions and the information generated by the Show-me Ratemaker™ software.
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