Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank Announces Communities Selected for Municipal Resilience Program

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank Announces Communities Selected for Municipal Resilience Program

Apr 24 2019

Infrastructure Bank to provide funding for communities to implement climate resilience projects

RHODE ISLAND – Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank has announced five communities to participate in the first round of the Municipal Resilience Program (MRP): Barrington, Warren, Portsmouth, South Kingstown and Westerly. Barrington and Warren will partner on shared, priority projects. The Bank committed $2 million in funding to implement climate resilience projects based on specific needs identified in each community.

The program builds on the state’s Climate Resilience Action Strategy, Resilient Rhody and aims to deepen municipalities’ understanding of climate risk and assist them in developing resilient solutions. Municipalities will build on local hazard mitigation planning to develop initial resilience plans and prioritize projects through Community Resilience Building workshops. The workshops will be developed and delivered in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. After successfully completing the program, municipalities will be eligible to apply for implementation funds.

“The Municipal Resilience Program will assist cities and towns by developing a pipeline of priority projects to protect their community’s assets and infrastructure from the threats of climate change,” said Infrastructure Bank Director of Stormwater and Resiliency Shaun O’Rourke. “Our partnership with The Nature Conservancy through this program will help ensure that our communities are protected and can quickly begin their resiliency projects.” 

Implementation funding will be available for priority projects in these communities that include dam repair and removal, road elevation, green stormwater infrastructure, watershed and ecological restoration, urban tree planting, and coastal erosion.

“Working collaboratively with municipalities is critical to building statewide climate resilience and our investment in this program will help accelerate projects” said Infrastructure Bank CEO and Executive Director Jeffrey Diehl. “The Bank is committed to supporting Rhode Island cities and towns and we look forward partnering on this exciting and innovative program.”

Municipalities will be required to match the Bank’s funding with a 25% local project cost share. Funds will be distributed over two years, with up to $1 million allocated to these first Municipal Resilience communities in 2019 when they complete the program.

“Rhode Island municipalities are dealing with more intense rain storms, more high heat days, flooding, and coastal erosion,” said Sheila Dormody of The Nature Conservancy. “I appreciate the commitment of these first community leaders to addressing their vulnerabilities. And I especially appreciate the Infrastructure Bank providing implementation funds to make sure we don’t end up with more plans that sit on a shelf. These workshops will drive concrete improvements that make our communities safer and more resilient to climate change.”

About Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is Rhode Island’s central hub for financing infrastructure improvements for municipalities, businesses, and homeowners. We leverage capital in a revolving fund to offer innovative financing for an array of infrastructure-based projects including water and wastewater, road and bridge, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and brownfield remediation. These quality of life projects improve the State’s infrastructure, create jobs, promote economic development and enhance the environment. For more information, please visit RIIB.org