NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced today that two communities, one utility district and one water/wastewater authority have been approved to receive more than $5.7 million in low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.
“Making needed infrastructure improvements to address drinking water and wastewater needs will benefit the health of communities and economic growth, and I’m pleased to see local governments taking advantage of this resource,” 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.
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 2012 EPA grant funds include a principal forgiveness component for water and wastewater projects.
“The State Revolving Fund Loan Program is a key investment for local communities in maintaining environmental and public health, while preparing for future needs,” TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said.
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.
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.
The loans announced today are:
- City of Cowan (Franklin County) – The City of Cowan will receive $500,000 for a project that includes wastewater treatment plant improvements. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $400,000 loan with an interest rate of 0.17 percent and $100,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.
Drinking Water Loan:
- Cordell Hull Utility District (Smith County) – The Cordell Hull UD will receive $500,000 for a project that includes replacement of the existing 100,000 gallon storage tank with a new 250,000 gallon storage tank. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $400,000 loan with an interest rate of 0.92 percent and $100,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.
Traditional Wastewater Loan:
- Jackson Energy Authority (Gibson County) – The Jackson Energy Authority will receive an increase of $3,953,352 to an existing $5 million, 20-year loan which brings the total to $8,953,352 with an interest rate of 0.34% for a project that includes sewer system rehabilitation.
Traditional Drinking Water Loan:
- City of Ridgely (Lake County) – The city of Ridgely will receive an $810,000, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 0.01 percent for replacement of two existing wells with two new wells.
Since its inception in 1987, Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $1.5 billion in low-interest loans. Since its inception in 1996, Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $217 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, Tennessee Tower, 12th Floor, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Nashville, TN 37243, or call (615) 532-0445. Additional information about the SRF Loan Program may be found online at http://www.tn.gov/environment/water/fund.shtml.