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$48 Million in Water and Wastewater Construction Loans Awarded

Thursday, September 27, 2012 | 11:03am

Low-Interest Loans Help Fund Infrastructure Improvements

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced today that three communities, one utility district and one energy authority have been approved to receive a total of $48 million in 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 prepare for future needs,” Haslam said.  “These water and wastewater projects also help foster healthy communities as they 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 more than 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 critical to maintaining environmental and public health,” Martineau said.  “These loans will help keep our communities moving forward, and the principal forgiveness provisions will help 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:

Jackson Energy Authority (Gibson and Madison Counties) – The Jackson Energy Authority will receive $2.15 million for a project that includes Sewer System Rehabilitation (Phase 1). The project will be funded with a 20-year, $1.61 million loan with an interest rate of 0.34 percent and $531,050 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

City of Murfreesboro (Rutherford County) – The city of Murfreesboro will receive $4 million for a project that includes the construction of the southwest force main. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $3.6 million loan with an interest rate of 0.93 percent and $400,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

City of Murfreesboro (Rutherford County) – The city of Murfreesboro will also receive $10 million for a project that includes the construction of the southwest regional pumping station. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $7.53 million loan with an interest rate of 0.93 percent and $2.47 million in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Drinking Water Loans were announced today for the following recipients:

Cross Anchor Utility District (Greene County) – The Cross Anchor Utility District will receive $2.5 million for a green project involving leak-detection water meters and water line replacements.  The project will be funded with a 20-year, $1.75 million loan with an interest rate of 0.73 percent and $750,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Town of Mosheim (Greene County) – The town of Mosheim will receive $1.15 million for a green project involving auto-read water meters and water line replacements. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $661,250 loan with an interest rate of 0.75 percent and $488,750 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Town of Erwin (Unicoi County) – The Town of Erwin will receive a $200,000 increase to an existing $500,000 loan for a project that includes water treatment plant upgrades. The revised $700,000 project will be comprised of a 20-year, $560,000 loan with an interest rate of 2.42 percent and $140,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Traditional Wastewater Loans were announced today for the following recipients:

Jackson Energy Authority (Gibson and Madison Counties) – The Jackson Energy Authority will also receive a $5 million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 0.34 percent for a project that includes Sewer System Rehabilitation (Phase 1 and 2).

City of Murfreesboro (Rutherford County) – The city of Murfreesboro will also receive a $23 million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 0.93 percent for a project that includes the southwest regional pumping station, the southwest force main and new headworks at the existing Sinking Creek wastewater treatment plant.

Since its inception in 1987, Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $1.25 billion in low-interest loans. Since its inception in 1996, Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $201 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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