Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Governor Announces Approval of Water, Sewer Infrastructure Projects

Total of $91.5 million approved to help cities, counties meet critical needs

Governor Sonny Perdue today announced the approval of eleven state and federally funded environmental infrastructure projects totaling $91.5 million. Five of the projects were either fully or partially financed by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) at a total of $40.5 million.

The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) board of directors approved the commitments to help finance water and sewer infrastructure projects in Cobb County, Colquitt County and Gwinnett County, and the cities of Camilla, Hiawassee, Port Wentworth, Portal, Sparta, Stillmore, Valdosta and West Point.

“Investment in infrastructure creates jobs, promotes economic development and increases our citizens’ quality of life,” said Governor Perdue. “Improving public health and safety is critical to a community’s economic growth and prosperity.”

“The state and federal water and sewer programs administered by GEFA assist local governments with improving their environmental infrastructure,” said GEFA Executive Director Phil Foil. “Financing water and sewer projects encourages economic growth and the stewardship of our environment.”

“The projects that we agreed to finance today illustrate how GEFA helps communities of all sizes, in all areas of the state,” said Matt Beasley, chairman of the GEFA board of directors and mayor of the city of Hartwell. “From the smallest of communities to the largest, GEFA is investing in communities that are willing to invest in themselves.”

GEFA helps communities prepare for economic growth and development through the provision of low interest loans. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) is a federal loan program administered by GEFA for wastewater infrastructure and water pollution abatement projects. Eligible projects include a wide variety of storm water and wastewater collection and treatment projects. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) is a federal loan program administered by GEFA for water infrastructure projects. Eligible projects include public health-related water supply construction. The Georgia Fund is a state funded program administered by GEFA for water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure projects. The Georgia Fund provides loans and grants to local governments for projects such as water and sewer lines, treatment plants, pumping stations, wells, water storage tanks and water meters. Low interest loans from this program are available up to $10 million.

In February the Congress approved and the President signed the ARRA, which included a substantial investment in the CWSRF and the DWSRF programs. The ARRA also directs the states to reserve 20 percent of the ARRA funding for “…projects to address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements or other environmentally innovative activities.”

Under the ARRA financing terms adopted by the GEFA board of directors, cities or counties that are OneGeorgia-eligible qualify for a 70 percent subsidy. Cities or counties that are not OneGeorgia-eligible qualify for a 40 percent subsidy. Green projects receive a 60 percent subsidy. For example, if a OneGeorgia-eligible community applies for a $1 million loan, then 70 percent of the loan will be forgiven and the community will close on a 20-year loan of $300,000 at a three percent interest rate. OneGeorgia-eligible communities are located outside the state’s metropolitan areas and have a population of 50,000 or less with a poverty rate of 10 percent or greater. The unprecedented amounts of subsidy in the ARRA financing terms will help Georgia meet the ARRA’s short-term goals of job creation and economic stimulus.

Georgia local governments expressed a tremendous amount of interest in the ARRA funds. Cities and counties submitted more than 1,600 clean water, drinking water and green projects with a total cost that exceeded $6 billion. Total available funding for projects through the ARRA is $144 million. Funding is obligated to projects on a first-come-first-served basis.
Details of the loans approved today are below:

City of Camilla

The city of Camilla was approved for a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan of $10,000,000 for renovations and upgrades to a wastewater treatment facility. The city will pay a three percent interest rate on the 20-year loan. The total project cost is $10,000,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

Cobb County

Financed partially through the ARRA, Cobb County was approved for a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan of $35,000,000, which includes $10 million financed through the ARRA. The loan package will finance the third phase of construction of a 30,000 foot sewer tunnel, connecting tunnels, and a 130 million gallons-per-day lift station at the South Cobb Water Reclamation Facility. Consistent with GEFA’s ARRA financing terms for communities that are not OneGeorgia-eligible, 40 percent ($4,000,000) of the principal on the ARRA portion of the loan will be forgiven and the county will pay three percent interest on a 20-year loan of $6,000,000. The non-ARRA CWSRF loan of $25,000,000 is a 20-year loan with a three percent interest rate. The total project cost is $35,000,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

City of Colquitt

The city of Colquitt was approved for a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan of $641,068 and a DWSRF subsidy of $150,000 for the construction of a new well and water main. The city will pay zero percent interest on the 20-year loan. The total project cost is $791,068, with GEFA providing the entire amount.

Gwinnett County

Financed through the ARRA, Gwinnett County was approved for a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan of $6,000,000 and a CWSRF subsidy of $4,000,000 for the third phase of construction of a sewer tunnel to store and convey wastewater to the site of the future No Business Creek Regional Pump Station. The total project cost is $55,000,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount. GEFA approved a phase one loan of $22,000,000 on September 29, 2005, and a phase two loan of $23,000,000 on June 17, 2008. Consistent with GEFA’s ARRA financing terms for communities that are not OneGeorgia-eligible, 40 percent ($4,000,000) of the principal will be forgiven and the county will pay three percent interest on a 20-year loan of $6,000,000.

City of Hiawassee

Financed through the ARRA, the city of Hiawassee was approved for a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan of $160,500 and a CWSRF subsidy of $374,500 for the rehabilitation of existing sewer infrastructure. Consistent with GEFA’s ARRA financing terms for communities that are OneGeorgia eligible, 70 percent ($374,500) of the principal will be forgiven and the city will pay three percent interest on a 20-year loan of $160,500. The total project cost is $535,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

City of Port Wentworth

Financed partially through the ARRA, the city of Port Wentworth was approved for a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan of $6,000,000 and a CWSRF subsidy of $4,000,000 for the construction of a two million gallon-per-day wastewater treatment system. The total project cost is $17,592,300 with GEFA providing $10,000,000 and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development providing $7,592,300. Consistent with GEFA’s ARRA financing terms for communities that are not OneGeorgia-eligible, 40 percent ($4,000,000) of the principal will be forgiven and the city will pay three percent interest on a 20-year loan of $6,000,000.

City of Portal

The city of Portal was approved for a Georgia Fund loan of $350,000 for improvements to the city’s sanitary sewer system. The city will pay a 3.81 percent interest rate on the 20-year loan. The total project cost is $2,078,000, with $500,000 provided by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, $100,000 provided by GEFA through a Georgia Fund Sewer Grant and $1,128,000 provided from local option sales tax funds set aside for this purpose.

City of Sparta

The city of Sparta was approved for a Georgia Fund sewer grant of $100,000. The grant will fund improvements to the city’s sanitary sewer system including manhole and sewer line replacement. The Georgia Fund Sewer Grant program provides funds to small sewer projects that extend service to areas already served by the community’s water system. The total project cost is $100,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

City of Stillmore

The city of Stillmore was approved for a Georgia Fund loan of $236,000 for renovations and upgrades to the city’s sanitary sewer system. The city will pay a two percent interest rate on the 20-year loan. The total project cost is $736,000, with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs committing $500,000 through a Community Development Block Grant.

City of Valdosta

Financed partially through the ARRA, the city of Valdosta was approved for a Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan of $22,500,000 to increase the capacity of the Mud Creek Water Pollution Control Plant from 3.2 million gallons per day (MGD) to 5.7 MGD. The loan committment includes $10 million financed through the ARRA and $12,500,000 financed by a regular CWSRF loan. Consistent with GEFA’s ARRA financing terms for communities that are not OneGeorgia-eligible, 40 percent ($4,000,000) of the principal on the ARRA portion of the loan will be forgiven and the city will pay three percent interest on a 20-year loan of $6,000,000. The non-ARRA CWSRF loan of $12,500,000 is a 20-year loan with a three percent interest rate. The total project cost is $45,000,000 with GEFA providing $22,500,000 for phase one of the project.

City of West Point

The city of West Point was approved for a Georgia Fund short-term loan of $2,000,000 to interim-finance improvements to the city’s water and sanitary sewer systems until reimbursement for the work is received from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The city will pay a 3.81 percent interest rate on the loan, which will be paid off by proceeds from a $2,000,000 EDA grant. The total project cost is $11,549,445 with a OneGeorgia Grant providing $1,000,000, a Department of Community Affairs grant providing $500,000 and a previous Georgia Fund loan providing $8,049,445.

Cities and counties interested in more information regarding GEFA loans should visit www.gefa.org or call (404) 584-1000.

The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) provides financial assistance and administers programs that encourage stewardship of the environment and promote economic development statewide. GEFA is the lead state agency for energy planning and alternative fuels; manages the Governor’s Energy Challenge and the Georgia Land Conservation Program; maintains state-owned fuel storage tanks; and offers financing for reservoir and water supply, water quality, storm water and solid waste infrastructure.
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1 comment:

Harmon said...

I think the biggest source of water pollution is Industries. Who are releasing large amount of hazardous waste into our water resources. In order to do proper treatment of this waste water consultant like JNB must be contacted