R.I. Infrastructure Bank announces first 5 participants in Municipal Resilience Program

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced Monday the five municipalities that will participate in the initial round of its Municipal Resilience Program.

Barrington, Portsmouth, South Kingstown, Warren and Westerly will lead shared-priority climate resilience program.

The Municipal Resilience Program will provide technical assistance and the ability to apply for implementation funds.

As part of the program, The Nature Conservancy will support municipalities in completing a climate vulnerability assessment and in creating a prioritized list of actionable plans and projects through the Community Resilience Building process, a scale-able collaborative process.

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After completing the program, municipalities will be eligible to apply for implementation funds from the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. Municipalities also will be designated as a “Resilient Rhody Municipality” upon successful completion of the program.

The RIIB said that it had committed $2 million over two years in grant funding for the first two rounds of the program to implement climate resilience projects based on needs identified in the program. Municipalities will be able to access funding from the infrastructure bank with a local match.

The program will start working with towns immediately and anticipates all Community Resilience Building workshops being complete by late summer, according to Infrastructure Bank Director of Stormwater and Resiliency Shaun O’Rourke. He also said that participating municipalities will apply for implementation grants in the fall with selected projects announced by the end of the year.

“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 O’Rourke in prepared remarks. “Our partnership with The Nature Conservancy through the MRP program will help ensure that our communities are protected and can quickly begin their resiliency projects.”