Georgia communities receive infrastructure loans totaling $49 million

January 23, 2017

Loan commitments include energy and water conservation projects

Eleven Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $49,043,000 for water, sewer, and wastewater infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) board of directors.

Approved loans:

  • Adairsville awarded a $9,273,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan
  • Byromville awarded a $305,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Clayton County Water Authority awarded a $25,000,000 CWSRF conservation loan
  • Cornelia awarded a $1,200,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) conservation loan
  • Davisboro awarded a $4,679,000 CWSRF loan
  • Hart County Water Sewer Authority awarded a $365,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Hogansville awarded an interim $2,581,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Jones County awarded a $1,887,000 CWSRF loan
  • Lee County Utilities Authority awarded a $998,000 CWSRF conservation loan
  • Resaca awarded an interim $674,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Tybee Island awarded $1,361,000 DWSRF loan and a $720,000 CWSRF 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 Adairsville

The $9,273,000 CWSRF loan will finance expanding and upgrading the North Wastewater Treatment Plant to 2.0 million gallons per day, and decommissioning the South Wastewater Treatment Plant. This project will address the city’s need to increase wastewater treatment capacity to support industrial, commercial, and residential growth. The city will pay 2.70 percent interest on the 30-year loan. 

Town of Byromville 

The $305,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the drilling of a new water supply well and rehabilitation of existing water supply wells to restore reliable drinking water to the residents of the community. The existing wells will be rehabilitated to provide water supply while the new well is being completed. The town will pay 0.50 percent interest on the 40-year loan.

Clayton County Water Authority   

The $25,000,000 CWSRF conservation loan will finance the rehabilitation of the Flint River relief and outfall sewers and the Jesters Creek East outfall within the W.B. Casey Water Reclamation Facility sewer service area. This project will lessen inflow infiltration in the collection system, reduce wet weather flows to the plant, and decrease pumping costs. The county will pay 0.65 percent interest on the 15-year loan. The loan will finance an eligible energy conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate.

City of Cornelia

The $1,200,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance replacing the city’s current water meters with an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system. This project will allow the city to better serve its customers by reading meters more efficiently, more accurate billing, and quickly detecting and fixing leaks. The city will pay a 0.50 percent interest on the 10-year loan. The loan will finance an eligible water conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes principal forgiveness up to $480,000, if all funds are drawn.  

City of Davisboro

The $4,679,000 CWSRF loan will finance the expansion of the Davisboro Land Application System. This project includes replacing the mechanical screen with a larger unit, replacing the existing raw sewage pump station, and installing a new irrigation pump station. This project will also provide the city with additional wastewater capacity for future growth. The city will pay 1.89 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes a principal forgiveness of $500,000, if all loan funds are drawn. 

Hart County Water Sewer Authority (WSA)

The $365,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance the replacement of aging water meters with an automatic meter reading (AMR) system. This system will improve water efficiency, water conservation, and reduce operation and maintenance costs. The Hart County WSA will pay 0.50 percent interest on the 5-year loan. The loan will finance an eligible water conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes principal forgiveness up to $110,000, if all funds are drawn.  

Jones County  

The $1,887,000 CWSRF loan will finance the construction of pump stations and the installation of force mains and gravity sewers. This project will provide sewer service to approximately 60 households and an industrial park. Jones County will pay 1.39 percent interest on a 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness up to $469,250, if all funds are drawn. The loan received a reduced interest rate because the county is a PlanFirst designated community through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.    

Lee County Utilities Authority

The $998,000 CWSRF conservation loan will finance the installation of a 350 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system adjacent to the Kinchafoonee Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This project will provide energy efficiency improvements to the wastewater treatment plant to reduce its environmental impact. Lee County will pay 0.65 percent interest on a 15-year loan. The loan will finance an eligible energy conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes principal forgiveness up to $249,375, if all funds are drawn.

Tybee Island    

The $1,361,000 DWSRF loan will finance the replacement of water mains that will eliminate asbestos cement water mains and lead-jointed cast water mains in the water distribution system. The city will pay 0.89 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

The $720,000 CWSRF loan will finance the replacement of the ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system at the wastewater treatment plant, which will allow the city to operate more effectively; save money on bulb replacement costs and power costs; and reduce maintenance. The city will pay 0.89 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

The loans received a reduced interest rate because the city is a PlanFirst designated community through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Other board actions:

City of Damascus   

The city was approved for a $403,000 DWSRF loan in November 2016 to finance the rehabilitation of the city’s existing 100,000 gallon elevated water tank, which includes leak repairs, water main repair or replacement, and repainting the tank. The original interest rate (1.89 percent) did not account for the water conservation activities in the project. The new interest rate on the loan is 1.63 percent.

City of Hogansville   

A $2,581,000 Georgia Fund loan will provide interim financing to the city while it seeks permanent financing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The interim loan will finance repairs and modifications to the city’s water pollution control plant, which will help to eliminate health and safety risks. The city will pay 0.92 percent interest on the 5-year interim loan.

City of Monroe

In March 2009, the city was approved for $4,000,000 Georgia Fund loan. The GEFA board removed a loan condition that required the city to restrict a minimum of $300,000 in a separate bank account for the purpose of satisfying or guaranteeing the GEFA debt.

Town of Resaca

A $674,000 Georgia Fund loan will provide interim financing to the town while it seeks permanent financing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The interim loan will finance the installation of a new sewer collection system that will extend the existing sewer line along State Road 136 to U.S. 41. This project will add sewer service to commercial properties and residents in the central area of the city. The town will pay 0.92 percent interest on the 5-year interim 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.