Grants available for projects that improve water quality

Lexington’s Stormwater Quality Project Incentive Grant Program is now accepting applications for projects that reduce stormwater runoff, improve water quality and educate citizens about Lexington’s water issues.

Currently, applications for all grants are being accepted. Funded by water quality management fees, the program provides financial assistance to communities, schools, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations that pay water quality management fees in Fayette County.

Churchill McGee, a small local business and past grant recipient, wanted to address the increase in impervious surfaces near his business. Impervious surfaces are areas that do not allow rainwater to drain naturally into the ground, such as buildings, roads, and parking lots. Their project included demolishing some existing parking areas and renovating another with permeable pavement. The project also included stormwater education through site tours of newly constructed permeable plots and the development of an educational booklet for distribution to current and future self-storage customers.

Patrick McGee, a partner at Churchill McGee, said, “The DWQ grant program makes our project financially viable while providing stormwater solutions for challenging sites.” He encourages others to apply. “While the application process associated with the program can be technical, staff are knowledgeable and patient to ensure we fill out all necessary forms correctly.”

Type A community grants are available to Fayette County communities, communities, and homeowners associations representing single-family homeowners or farms. Community grants can be used to fund rain gardens, rain barrels, riparian restoration, community workshops, and other projects that help improve or manage stormwater through education and infrastructure improvements.

Class B Education Grants are open to owners and tenants of schools, churches, nonprofits, and businesses that are not covered by Class A Community Grants. Education grants have been used to fund the development of stormwater-related curriculum in schools, outreach activities on water quality, public workshops, and educational rain gardens.

The application deadline for Community and Education Grants is May 6, 2022. First-time applicants are strongly recommended to apply.

Applications for Category B infrastructure grants for businesses, schools, churches, apartment complexes and other institutions are also open. These grants fund a variety of stormwater projects, including river restoration, constructed wetlands, biological retention, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, and permeable pavement installations. Funding is available for feasibility-only grants and design and construction projects. The application deadline for the B infrastructure grant is July 29, 2022.

Grant application packets, contact information, sample scoring sheets, details of past projects and other information can be found at lexingtonky.gov/IncentiveGrants.

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