Georgia communities receive infrastructure loans totaling $13.2 million

August 23, 2016

Fourteen Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $13,167,500 for water, sewer, and wastewater infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) board of directors.

The communities include the cities of Comer, Forsyth, Hiawassee, Kingsland, Ludowici, Milledgeville, Oxford, Riceboro, Sylvania, the towns of Camak and Rincon, the Ellijay Gilmer County Water and Sewage Authority, Marion County, and Washington County.

Approved loans:

  • Comer awarded a 362,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) water conservation loan
  • Forsyth awarded a $1,000,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Hiawassee awarded a $450,000 DWSRF water conservation loan
  • Kingsland awarded a $1,600,000 DWSRF water conservation loan
  • Ludowici awarded a $167,500 Georgia Fund loan
  • Milledgeville awarded a $530,000 DWSRF loan
  • Oxford awarded a $525,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Riceboro awarded a $1,000,000 DWSRF loan
  • Sylvania awarded $372,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Camak awarded a $100,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan  
  • Rincon awarded a $2,000,000 CWSRF loan
  • Ellijay Gilmer County Water and Sewage Authority awarded a $2,100,000 CWSRF loan
  • Marion County awarded a $166,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Washington County awarded a $2,795,000 Georgia Fund loan

Quotes:

“GEFA loans help local governments improve their environmental infrastructure. Financing water, wastewater, solid waste, and energy, land and water conservation projects encourages economic growth and the stewardship of our environment.” – GEFA Executive Director Kevin Clark.

“I’d like to thank Gov. Deal, the Georgia Congressional delegation, and the members of the General Assembly for their support. The state’s commitment to helping cities and counties finance infrastructure projects contributes greatly to improving Georgia’s water resources.” – GEFA Executive Director Kevin Clark.

“Low-interest financing from GEFA helps communities throughout the state. The projects financed today demonstrate that GEFA is investing in communities that are willing to invest in themselves.” – Chairman of the GEFA Board of Directors and Mayor of Dallas Boyd L. Austin.

Project and loan details:

City of Comer

The $362,000 DWSRF loan will finance the replacement of 396 residential meters with an automatic meter reading (AMR) system, convert 251 metered services from 2-inch lines to 6-inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) water mains, and install approximately 4,250 linear feet of 2-inch PVC water mains. The city will pay 0.89 percent on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible water conservation project, and includes principal forgiveness of up to $144,800 if all loan funds are drawn.

City of Forsyth

The $1,000,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the installation of approximately 14,500 linear feet of 12-inch water main and the installation of a booster pump station to connect Monroe County’s water system to the city of Forsyth’s water system. The project will also provide additional drinking water capacity to the city of Forsyth’s water system while reducing the daily load at the water treatment plant. The city will pay 2.39 percent on the 20-year loan.

City of Hiawassee

The $450,000 DWSRF loan will finance the replacement of approximately 1,500 residential meters with an automatic meter reading (AMR) system. This project will replace and update a portion of the city’s water meter system to allow for a more efficient water distribution system and more accurate water billing. The city will pay 0.50 percent on the 10-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible water conservation project, and includes principal forgiveness of up to $160,000 if all loan funds are drawn.  

City of Kingsland

The $1,600,000 DWSRF loan will finance the replacement of sections of water main serving Harrietts Bluff Road, and installing isolation valves and an automatic meter reading (AMR) system. This project will reduce non-revenue water in the city’s water distribution system and enhance the functionality and ease of operations. The city will pay 0.50 percent on the five-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced rate because it’s an eligible water conservation project, and includes principal forgiveness of up to $500,000 if all loan funds are drawn.  

City of Ludowici

The $167,500 Georgia Fund loan will finance the installation of a chlorine gas feed system, sulfur dioxide de-chlorination system, metering pumps, fiberglass buildings and all necessary appurtenances. The project will allow the city to reliably meet the fecal coliform limit by constructing a permanent chlorination system and a permanent de-chlorination system to address flow control at Pond No. 3. The city will pay 2.39 percent on the 20-year loan.

City of Milledgeville

The $530,000 DWSRF loan will finance replacement of a high service pump at the city’s Ham Water Treatment Plant and the replacement of a chlorine weight scale and chlorine cylinder hoist at the James Baugh Water Treatment Plant. This project will provide redundancy in the city’s water distribution system. The city will pay 0.81 percent on the 10-year loan.

City of Oxford

The $525,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the extension of the city’s sewer service along Emory Street and adjacent areas. This project will provide sewer service to an area of the city with failing septic tanks and add approximately 40 customers to the city’s sewer utility. The city will pay 0.81 percent on the 10-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate since Oxford is designated as a WaterFirst Community by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

City of Riceboro

The $1,000,000 DWSRF loan will finance drilling of an Upper Floridan aquifer (UFA) well in McIntosh County, installing 10,000 linear feet of transmission mains, and constructing a 1 million gallon elevated water storage tank in unincorporated Liberty County. The city will pay 1.89 percent on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $400,000 if all funds are drawn.

City of Sylvania

The $372,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the installation of a new lift station, decommissioning a failing lift station, and replacing a well pump and related appurtenances at well House No. 4. An undersized lift station at the wastewater treatment plant has experienced several spills, and the well pump has been shut down due to coliform bacteria contamination. The city will pay 1.90 percent on the 15-year loan.

Town of Camak

The $100,000 CWSRF loan will the construction of a portion of a new sewer system for the town, including a lift station, gravel access road and related appurtenances to make the system operational. This will allow for 30 residents to connect with the new sewer service and replace their individual septic systems. The town will pay 1.40 percent on the 15-year loan.

Town of Rincon

The $2,000,000 CWSRF loan will finance the construction of two channels and screens, grit removal systems, odor control system, sampler, control panels and other related headworks components. This project will allow for the replacement of the headworks at the wastewater treatment facility and provide redundancy in the headworks operations. The town will pay 1.89 percent on the 20-year loan.

Ellijay Gilmer County Water and Sewer Authority

The $2,100,000 CWSRF loan will finance the installation of approximately 7,500 linear feet of 8-inch gravity sewer along SR 52, a 60 horsepower duplex series lift station, and 5,700 linear feet of 6-inch force main to reach the existing county system. This project will connect the Gilmer County Adult Detention Center wastewater disposal system to the county’s sanitary sewer system. The authority will pay 1.89 percent on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $500,000 if all funds are drawn. 

Marion County  

The $166,000 Georgia Fund loan will help finance the installation of gravity sewers, force mains and pump stations to add capacity for new commercial developments to connect to the city of Buena Vista’s sewer treatment system. The project will also remove existing commercial developments from septic systems. The county will pay 1.31 percent on the 10-year loan.

Washington County

The $2,795,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the covering and sealing of the Kaolin Road Site 3 landfill, installing drainage structures and gas vents, and establishing vegetation on the landfill cover. The county will pay 1.31 percent on the 10-year loan.

Other board actions:

City of Unadilla

The board awarded a $250,000 increase to a Georgia Fund loan originally approved in January 2014 for $521,869. The increase will finance the construction approximately 2,900 linear feet of 10-inch water line that will connect the deep well to the existing water system.

Harris County

The board awarded a $750,000 increase to a DWSRF loan originally approved in October 2013 for $2,000,000. Bids for construction came in higher than estimated for the original loan.

Additional information:

The CWSRF, a federal loan program administered by GEFA, provides communities with low-interest loans to fund wastewater infrastructure and water pollution control projects. The program is jointly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Georgia. Eligible projects include a variety of stormwater and wastewater collection and treatment projects. These projects conserve and improve water resources, and facilitate economic growth and development. Low-interest loans are available up to $25 million.

The DWSRF, a federal loan program administered by GEFA, provides communities with low-interest loans to fund water infrastructure projects that deliver safe, affordable drinking water. The program is jointly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Georgia. Eligible projects include a variety of public health or compliance related water supply projects. These projects conserve and improve water resources, and facilitate economic growth and development. Low-interest loans are available up to $25 million.

The Georgia Fund, a state-funded program administered by GEFA, provides communities with low-interest loans for water, wastewater, water conservation and solid waste infrastructure projects. Eligible projects include water and sewer lines, treatment plants, pumping stations, wells, water storage tanks and water meters. These projects conserve and improve water resources, and facilitate economic growth and development. Low-interest loans are available up to $3 million.

GEFA provides loan financing at a reduced interest rate for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at water and wastewater treatment plants, landfills, and municipal solid waste facilities; water conservation projects in the areas of water loss and end-use water efficiency; and land conservation projects, including fee title and conservation easement purchases.