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South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) Grants

Grants to South Carolina Public Agencies to
Upgrade, Improve, and Expand Public Facilities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA)

Deadline Date:

03/11/19 5:00 PM Receipt


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Grants to South Carolina local governments, special purpose districts, public service districts, and public works commissions to improve public facilities. Funding may be requested for projects that bring facilities into compliance with environmental quality standards, protecting public health from other environmental concerns or improving the capacity of existing infrastructure.

Eligible activities include new construction, upgrades, improvements or extensions of water or sewer infrastructure or storm water drainage.

RIA makes strategic investments in qualified infrastructure projects that target the following program objectives:

- Improve the quality of life by addressing public health, environmental, and regulatory concerns;
- Create opportunities for economic impact by building the infrastructure capacity necessary to support economic development; and
- Increase community sustainability by helping to maintain reliable and affordable infrastructure.

The SC RIA makes grant assistance available in two competitive program categories:

Basic Infrastructure:
Assist communities in bringing facilities into compliance with environmental quality standards, protecting public health and the environment or improving the capacity of existing infrastructure.

- Projects that address US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) consent orders or unsatisfactory ratings related to public health or environmental quality or emergency projects that will resolve an imminent public health or environmental threat that has become critical in the past six months.
- Projects that address system components identified in DHEC sanitary surveys or compliance evaluation inspections as needing improvement or that have resulted in frequent violations of DHEC water quality standards.
- Projects that improve existing infrastructure that has reached the end of its useful life or is in severely deteriorating condition and negatively impacting the system.
- Other system enhancements that significantly impact system capacity.

Economic Infrastructure:
Build local infrastructure capacity to support economic development activities that will lead to job creation and boost opportunities for long-term community sustainability.

- Economic development projects that create impact through new job creation and private investment.
- Projects that will expand system capacity to help existing businesses create or retain jobs or to
accommodate reasonable growth.
- Projects that support development of publicly-owned industrial sites or industrial parks that have or are pursuing site certification.
- Projects that serve other publicly-owned properties with demonstrated potential to create or retain jobs and private investment.

A portion of the available funding will be targeted to assist rural and distressed communities.

The RIA offers assistance for publicly-owned water, wastewater or storm water facilities as well as other public facilities that are related to economic development. RIA funds may only be used for project-related construction costs, except those specified as the applicant’s responsibility.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175491

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant Amount: $500,000.

Grant requests up to $1 million may be considered in special circumstances for projects located in Tier III and IV counties.

Term of Contract:

the grant period is 24 months from the date of award. Within this grant period, construction must be complete with a permit to operate issued; all project funds spent and documented; the project records reviewed by RIA staff; and the final close-out report approved. For projects awarded on an emergency basis, the grant period is 12 months from the date of award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Local governments, special purpose and public service districts as well as public works commissions may apply directly to RIA for grant funding. Local governments may also apply for grant funding on behalf of not-for-profit water and sewer companies that serve the local government. For-profit utilities are not eligible for RIA grant funding.

The RIA is authorized to provide grants and assistance to local governments, special purpose and public service districts, or public works commissions for constructing and improving infrastructure facilities statewide.

Not-for-profit water/sewer companies are not eligible applicants but may be assisted with RIA funds if the local government being served by the project agrees to be the applicant.

Generally, applicants may submit only one application per program category. However, a local government may submit an application and also apply on behalf of one or more not-for-profit water/sewer companies. If there is an emergency, defined as an imminent public health or environmental threat that requires immediate action, or if a project requires a timely response to ensure job creation and investment, then additional applications in that program category will be considered.

The applicant must own, operate and maintain the facilities being improved except that a local government may: (1) apply on behalf of a not-for-profit water/sewer company; or (2) apply for an Economic Infrastructure project.

Applications should not be submitted for activities that are under contract or obligated at the time of application. RIA will not reimburse expenditures incurred prior to grant award and clearance of grant conditions.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications will be considered on a competitive basis in two funding rounds scheduled for the fall and spring of each year. However, applications for projects requiring a more timely response due to an emergency or to address a job creation and investment commitment may be submitted for consideration at any time.

Application Due Dates:
Round 1: September 10, 2018 by 5:00 PM
Round 2: March 11, 2019 by 5:00 PM

All applicants will be notified in writing and the selected projects posted on the RIA website. As the review process takes time, funding decisions are normally made about 10 weeks after the application deadlines.

All applicants are expected to cost-share in project activities. Projects within counties designated as distressed or least developed by the SC Department of Revenue (DOR) pursuant to the 2009 Jobs Tax Credit Act, or currently designated by DOR as a Tier III or IV county must contribute all non-construction costs. Projects within the remaining counties, designated by DOR as Tiers I or II, are required to provide all non-construction costs as well as a 25% match of the total construction costs.

Project costs will be comparatively evaluated and must be reasonable. Generally, RIA costs should not exceed $10,000 per customer served. For new line extensions, the applicant should have written agreements/commitments from customers to connect to the new line. A commitment rate of 70% is considered appropriate to ensure the feasibility of project costs and such commitments must be appropriately documented. Contingencies should not exceed 10%.

RIA will not reimburse expenditures incurred prior to grant award and clearance of grant conditions, unless otherwise improved.

Eligibility and Grant Process:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Mail applications to:

SC Rural Infrastructure Authority
1201 Main Street, Suite 1600
Columbia, SC 29201

Email address:
Phone: 803-737-0390

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: South Carolina