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TDEC Announces $3 Million in Loans for Clean Water Infrastructure

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | 09:55am

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers announced approximately $3 million in low-interest loans for clean water infrastructure improvements.

The loans announced today are for the Town of Smyrna in Rutherford County and the City of Lewisburg in Marshall County.

“These loans help provide local communities assistance with meeting fundamental responsibilities to their citizens,” Lee said. “It’s encouraging to see some of our rural communities are able to take advantage of these opportunities as well, and it is my hope that this program can help these areas grow even more.”

“This program offers an opportunity to improve essential existing infrastructure through low-cost loans,” Salyers said. “Tennessee is a great place to live, work and play, and part of that equation is keeping clean water available for its people.”

Tennessee’s Revolving Fund Loan Program maintains priority ranking lists for both the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Over $90 million is loaned annually to cities, utility districts, and energy or water/waste water authorities, with projects appearing on the priority ranking lists for planning, design, and construction of eligible water and wastewater projects.

Through the State Revolving Fund Program, communities, utility districts and water and wastewater authorities can obtain loans with lower interest rates than most can obtain through private financing. Interest rates for loans can vary from zero percent to market rate based on each community’s economic index. Loans utilizing EPA grant funds can also include a principal forgiveness component.

Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $2 billion in low-interest loans since its inception in 1987. Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $300 million in low-interest loans since its inception in 1996.

The Department of Environment and Conservation administers the State Revolving Fund Program in conjunction with the Tennessee Local Development Authority. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides grants to fund the program, and the state provides a 20 percent match. Loan repayments are returned to the program and are used to fund future SRF loans.

The clean water loans announced are for:

Town of Smyrna (Rutherford County) – The Town of Smyrna will receive a loan totaling $3 million for green infrastructure and waste water treatment plant expansion from 5.85 million gallons per day (MGD) to 9 MGD. The loan is for $3 million with federal funding in the amount of $2.7 million and an additional $300,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid. A $3 million cap applies to the federal funding in the clean water loan program. The loan has a 20-year repayment period at an interest rate of 1.71 percent.

City of Lewisburg (Marshall County) – The City of Lewisburg will receive a loan increase in the amount of $130,000 for waste water treatment plant improvements. The project is funded from the State Revolving Fund with a 20-year repayment period and an interest rate of 1.05 percent.