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Water and Wastewater Construction Loans Awarded

Tuesday, November 08, 2011 | 07:43am
Low-Interest Loans Help Fund Infrastructure Improvements
 
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced today that five communities have been approved to receive low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.
 
“The State Revolving Fund Loan Program aids communities in addressing their current infrastructure needs and helps to prepare for future needs,” Haslam said. “These water and wastewater projects help foster healthy communities to continue to grow.”
 
The State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Program provides low-interest loans that help communities, utility districts, and water and wastewater authorities finance projects that protect Tennessee’s ground and surface waters and public health. Loans are used to finance the planning, design and construction of water and wastewater facilities.
 
The Department of Environment and Conservation administers the SRF Loan Program for the state of Tennessee 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.
 
Through the SRF 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 the 2010 EPA grant funds include 20 percent principal forgiveness for water and wastewater projects, while 2011 EPA grant funds include 30 percent principal forgiveness for water and 10 percent principal forgiveness for wastewater projects.
 
“Community investments in our drinking water and wastewater systems are vital to maintaining environmental and public health,” Martineau said. “These loans will help keep our communities moving forward, and the principal forgiveness provisions help local communities accomplish this work in difficult economic times.”
 
The funding order of projects is determined by the SRF Loan Program’s Priority Ranking Lists that rank potential projects according to the severity of their pollution and/or compliance problems or for the protection of public health.
 
Wastewater Loans were announced today for the following recipients:
 
Town of Bell Buckle (Bedford County) – The town of Bell Buckle will receive $800,000 for a project that includes wastewater treatment plant upgrades and collection system rehabilitation. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $720,000 loan with an interest rate of 1.26 percent and $80,000 in principal forgiveness (10 percent) that will not have to be repaid.
 
City of Harriman (Roane County) – The city of Harriman will receive $2 million for a project that includes sewer system rehabilitation. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $1.6 million loan with an interest rate of 1.35 percent and $400,000 in principal forgiveness (20 percent) that will not have to be repaid.
 
City of Jamestown (Fentress County) – The city of Jamestown will receive more than $1.5 million for a project that includes new wastewater treatment plant upgrades and collection system extension into the White Oak area. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $1.22 million loan with an interest rate of two percent and $306,262 in principal forgiveness (20 percent) that will not have to be repaid.
 
Drinking Water Loans were announced today for the following recipients:
 
Town of Bell Buckle (Bedford County) – The town of Bell Buckle will receive $400,000 for a project that includes the Wartrace road waterline rehabilitation. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $280,000 loan with an interest rate of 1.26 percent and $120,000 in principal forgiveness (30 percent) that will not have to be repaid.
 
City of Harriman (Roane County) – The city of Harriman will receive $1.8 million for a project that includes water distribution system-wide water loss detection and repair work. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $1.44 million loan with an interest rate of 1.35 percent and $360,000 in principal forgiveness (20 percent) that will not have to be repaid.
 
Traditional Wastewater Loans were announced today for the following recipients (these do not include the principal forgiveness provision):
 
City of Chattanooga (Hamilton County) – The city of Chattanoogawill receive a $20 million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of two percent for a project that includes wastewater treatment plant upgrades, sewer system rehabilitation and expansion work.
 
City of Millington (Shelby County) – The city of Millington will receive a $2.8 million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1.41 percent for a project that includes wastewater treatment plant improvements.
 
Since its inception in 1987, Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $1.18 billion in low-interest loans. Since its inception in 1996, Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $191 million in low-interest loans. Both programs combined award more than $80 million annually to Tennessee’s local governments for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
 
Any local government interested in the SRF Loan Program should contact the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, L&C Tower, 8th Floor, 401 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37243, or call (615) 532-0445. Additional information about the SRF Loan Program may be found online at www.tn.gov/environment/srf.
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