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$25.5 Million in Water and Wastewater Construction Loans Awarded

Wednesday, June 06, 2012 | 09:56am

Low-Interest Loans Help Fund Infrastructure Improvements

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau today announced that two communities, one water authority, and one water/wastewater authority have been approved to receive a total of $25.5 million in low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.

“These projects will help address critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements, as well as foster healthy communities as they continue to grow,” Haslam said. 

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.

“The State Revolving Fund loan program is an important tool that not only helps implement much needed infrastructure improvements for the ongoing protection of the environment and public health, it also keeps local communities moving forward as they prepare for future needs,” Martineau said.

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:

Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority – The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority will receive $6 million for a project that includes infiltration and inflow correction.  The project will be funded with a 20-year, $4.8 million loan with an interest rate of 1.54 percent and $1.2 million in principal forgiveness (20 percent) that will not have to be repaid.

Water Authority of Dickson County (Dickson and Williamson Counties) – The Water Authority of Dickson County will receive $10 million for a project that includes collection system expansion and rehabilitation and replacement of gravity sewer trunk lines.  The project will be funded with a 20-year, $8 million loan with an interest rate of 1.11 percent and $2 million in principal forgiveness (20 percent) that will not have to be repaid.

City of White House (Sumner and Robertson Counties) – The city of White House will receive $4 million for a project that includes infiltration and inflow correction.  The project will be funded with a 20-year, $3.6 million loan with an interest rate of one percent and $400,000 in principal forgiveness (10 percent) that will not have to be repaid.

A Drinking Water Loan was announced today for the following recipient:

City of Lebanon (Wilson County) – The city of Lebanon will receive $3.67 million for Water Treatment Plant improvements, including new clearwells.  The project will be funded with a 20-year, $2.94 million loan with an interest rate of 1.76 percent and $0.73 million in principal forgiveness (20 percent) that will not have to be repaid.

A traditional Wastewater Loan was announced today for the following recipient:

City of White House (Sumner and Robertson Counties) – The city of White House will also receive a $500,000, 20-year loan with an interest rate of one percent for a project that includes infiltration and inflow correction. 

A traditional Drinking Water Loan was announced today for the following recipient:

City of Lebanon (Wilson County) – The city of Lebanon will also receive a $1.33 million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1.76 percent for Water Treatment Plant improvements, including new clearwells. 

The two traditional loans do not include either the 2010 or the 2011 EPA funding or the principal forgiveness provision.

Since its inception in 1987, Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $1.2 billion in low-interest loans. Since its inception in 1996, Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $198 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 Loans, 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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