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TDEC Announces $3.2 Million Drinking Water Loan for Oak Ridge

Monday, May 13, 2019 | 03:06pm

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers today announced approximately $3.2 million in a low-interest loan for drinking water infrastructure improvements for the City of Oak Ridge.

“This loan will help Oak Ridge to meet one of the vital needs of its citizens,” Lee said. “I am pleased to support infrastructure upgrades that will help to provide safe and reliable drinking water for more Tennesseans.”

The City of Oak Ridge will receive a planning and design loan in the amount of $3,288,000 to develop plans and specifications for construction of a new 16-million-gallon-per-day water treatment plant. The effort is funded from the State Revolving Fund Loan Program with a five-year repayment period and an interest rate of 1.08 percent.

“The low-interest loan program has proved to be a boost for communities across Tennessee,” Salyers said. “It is an effective tool for providing much-needed upgrades yet keeps such steps affordable. We are glad this loan could be made for Oak Ridge.”

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. During FY 2019, TDEC has awarded $13,020,300 in drinking water loans and $81,423,500 in clean water loans, for a total of $94,443,800 to meet the state’s water infrastructure needs.

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. 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.