Eastern Iowa Regional Utility Service Systems
Each of the five counties initially contributed funds to finance the EIRUSS operation. ECIA and the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) staffs prepare grant applications. As systems are constructed and the number of users increases, EIRUSS will slowly fund itself and become self-sustaining. EIRUSS hopes to eventually have an adequate number of systems in operation with user fees being generated to cover the operational expenses outside of construction costs. Grant and loan funds support the development of the essential facilities and systems.
What type of funding is available to communities who want to update or develop their wastewater or water systems?
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), USDA Rural Development, Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Revolving Fund (SRF).
Generally, the costs to the community are minimal, such as publication and meeting costs. Once a project is funded and design is begun, there may be instances where utility easements are required. EIRUSS and its funding sources prefer that these easements be donated. The cost of land acquisition, including easements, will be built into the user rates for the utility once operational, thereby increasing rates for everyone.
EIRUSS will seek grant funds and low interest loans to fund projects. The terms of the grants and loans depend mainly on the income of the community to be served. Ultimately the construction project costs will be financed utilizing the lowest cost alternative available. These costs along with operation and maintenance costs will determine the user rates for each system.
This will depend on the funding sources. Generally, those funding agencies will require that all potential users within a reasonable distance connect to the system. More users on a system will result in lower average user rates for all customers.