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Simpson Secures Funding for Idaho Priorities in Interior Legislation

Simpson Secures Funding for Idaho Priorities in Interior Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today announced that he has secured funding for sage grouse conservation, Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), and the Minerals Resources Program, as well as $4.56 million in funding for two water treatment projects in Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District in the Fiscal Year 2023 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

“The funding for sage grouse conservation that I requested will support the collaborative work between local stakeholders and federal partners, and protect the livelihoods of those who live, work, and recreate on Idaho’s lands,” said Simpson. “I am also pleased to see funding for programs to responsibly utilize mines in Idaho and potentially loosen the grip that foreign nations currently have on the global critical mineral supply chain.”

$2.56 million in funding for the City of Grace Wastewater Collection and Treatment Systems Improvement Project and $2 million for the City of Roberts Clean Water Project was also included at Congressman Simpson’s request through Community Project Funding (CPF).

Funding for the City of Grace Wastewater Collection and Treatment Systems Improvement is designated to make critical updates for electrical improvements at their treatment plants, replacement of their solids dewatering process, replacement of 2,000 feet of collection piping, and the installation of several new manholes, addressing critical public health needs of the community.

“The City of Grace has expressed a critical need to modernize its wastewater collection and treatment capabilities for businesses and residents. This funding will help the community meet updated codes that have changed in the 25 years since the current treatment system has been in place,” said Congressman Simpson.

"The City of Grace is in the process of updating the city wastewater treatment plant. The plant hasn't been updated since 1985. With a small population of just around 950 people, we are trying to keep the costs down for our residents. With the rate of inflation and unforeseen equipment reaching its lifetime and needing to be replaced, any support is greatly appreciated." - Mayor Jackie Barthlome, City of Grace

Similarly, the City of Roberts’ funding will be used in construction of an improved sewer collection system. The City of Roberts’ sewer collection system is made up of 2.7 miles of asbestos-concrete pipe and was installed in 1969. Some of the sewer lines are failing, causing raw sewage to back up into residents’ homes and causing a critical public health concern. The improvements to the city’s sewer collection system will help ensure that sewage is not leaking into the ground water and will prevent the backups that are occurring in citizens’ homes.

“The sewer situation in Roberts has already presented major health and safety risks to residents amid the existing struggles of record high inflation and recovery from the global pandemic,” said Congressman Simpson. “This funding will greatly aid this community without further burdening residents and businesses with increased taxes.”

“The city recognizes the importance of upkeep and our stewardship to keep contaminants contained and treated. This potential funding could go a long way in ensuring that our patrons get the best possible services and avoid known health hazards from the community.” -Mayor Robert (B.J.) Berlin, City of Roberts

To ensure transparency and accountability, the House Appropriations Committee established several new rules that every project submitted for funding must follow.  For a new Community Project Funding (CPF) request to be considered, the following criteria must be met:

  • Members must certify that they, their spouse, and their immediate family have no financial interest in the projects they request.
  • Members must post every CPF request online simultaneously with their submission to the Committee on Appropriations.
  • Members must provide evidence of community support that were compelling factors in their decision to select certain projects.
  • Members are allowed a maximum of 15 CPF requests.
  • No CPF grants can be directed towards for-profit grantees.
  • Total CPF spending will be capped at 1 percent of discretionary spending.

“These important projects aside, the overall spending level of the Interior Appropriations bill far exceeds current levels of government spending. I look forward to the conference process of this and other appropriations bills to regain fiscal responsibility while still providing funds to important programs and communities in need, such as the water treatment projects for the cities of Grace and Roberts and the PILT program,” said Simpson.

Appropriations legislation is expected to be considered on the House floor at the end of July.  For more information on the individual projects or the Community Project Funding (CPF) process, visit Congressman Simpson’s website here.