New Hampshire Municipal Association
New Hampshire Municipal Association

Environmental State Aid Grant Funding

UPDATE: On July 16th, the Department of Environmental Services (DES) held an informational meeting for SAG municipalities outlining the procedures DES will use to distribute grant funds and the schedule for processing applications and grant payments. At this meeting, DES distributed several materials, including a Municipal Contact Form, a SAG Application Checklist as well as a PowerPoint Presentation.

SAG members are encouraged to provide two sources of important information to DES as soon as possible:

  1. Provide Your Current Debt Schedule/Loan Status Update

    Recognizing that some municipalities may have refinanced, DES is requesting that you provide your current debt service to the program coordinator listed below at your earliest convenience. Even if you have not refinanced, you are requested to provide a debt service update.

  2. Identify Local Contact Person for Coordination with DES

    Attached above is a form for you to list the local contact person to serve as liaison with DES. Please complete this form and return to the appropriate program coordinator below. By doing so, you will expedite the communications between DES and you.

For the appropriate DES program regarding your eligible infrastructure project, please contact:

Should you have any other questions or concerns over this SAG funding process, please contact Paul Heirtzler, Wastewater Engineering Bureau, (603) 271-2001 or paul.heirtzler@des.nh.gov.

As part of its 2013-2014 legislative policy process, NHMA members adopted the following Action Policy (on which NHMA actively purses the introduction and passage of legislation) under the Planning and Environmental Quality policy committee:

4. Restoration of Full General Revenue Funding for Municipal State Aid Grant (SAG) Programs:

NHMA supports legislation to restore full general revenue funding of municipal wastewater, public drinking water and landfill closure grants administered by the NH Department of Environmental Services. For more information, please see the following summary of the "delayed and deferred" issue.

Towards this goal, NHMA requested of certain legislators that an appropriations bill be introduced in both the House and the Senate for the 2013 Legislative Session. In turn, Rep. Tom Buco was prime sponsor of HB 623 in the House and Sen. Andy Sanborn was the prime sponsor of an identical appropriations bill, SB 168 in the Senate. These bills seek an appropriation of approximately $8.8 million which represents the first two installments of outstanding SAG monies owed to cities and towns over the legislative biennium.

During the fall (2012) and winter (2013), NHMA members responded effectively by adopting a resolution at the local level in support of this legislative effort. In total, 19 cities and towns that we are aware of adopted a SAG resolution representing over 171,000 residents, ratepayers and taxpayers in the state.

Moreover, NHMA’s legislative effort was supported by many trade organizations, environmental and business interests. Environmental interests understand and appreciate the importance these environmental water infrastructure systems help to protect our lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and coastal resources.

Every state senator district and over half of every House member’s representative district is impacted by the SAG issue. For a quick view of impacted municipalities, please see SAG impact map.

The estimated 10 year need for water infrastructure improvement in New Hampshire is nearly $2.9 billion. Testimony delivered at both the House and Senate hearings indicate a strong need for continued water and wastewater funding.

Unfortunately, most state funding for the SAG program ceased in October, 2009. Only existing obligations (only those SAG projects that were approved by Governor & Council prior to October, 2009) are currently being funded by the state. State Grants 2007-2013.

For a list of those municipalities with outstanding SAG obligations, please see the following most recent chart prepared and presented by the Department of Environmental Services (as of 2/7/2013).