The Public Facilities Authority recently posted the list of FY 2019 applicants for the Point Source Implementation Grant (PSIG) program. Multiple MESERB members are on the list, which indicates the projects that will be eligible to receive PSIG grant funding.
However, there is great uncertainty about when these funds will become available. The PFA has sufficient funds for the first three projects on the FY18 list (Gilbert, Windom, Glencoe), but funding for the remaining FY18 projects and the first six on the FY19 list (including Marshall, Little Falls and Lakefield) is in limbo due to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by eight environmental groups challenging the appropriation bonds that were to fund these projects.
The groups argue that the 2018 Legislature violated the State Constitution when it funded $98 million worth of projects — including approximately $38 million for the PSIG program — in the bonding bill through a new type of revenue bond to be paid back using the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF).
While the situation remains up in the air, the lawsuit endangers the PSIG funding contained in the 2018 bonding bill. Sale of the bonds to fund these programs could be postponed or even cancelled as a result of this lawsuit, delaying important wastewater and related projects. We will continue to monitor this situation and share information with our members as it becomes available.