ATLANTA – Nineteen Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $72,680,313 for water, sewer, solid waste and wastewater infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) board of directors today.

The communities include the towns of Bowersville and Braselton; the cities of Baldwin, Clayton, LaGrange, Port Wentworth, Richland, Savannah, Scotland, and Tallapoosa; Decatur, Monroe, Paulding, Towns and Twiggs Counties; the Carroll County Water Authority, Etowah Water & Sewer Authority, Hart County Water and Sewer Utility Authority, and Lumpkin County Water & Sewerage Authority.

Approved Loans:

  • Bowersville was awarded a $96,673 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Braselton was awarded a $1,842,250 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan.
  • Baldwin was awarded a $1,634,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan.
  • Clayton was awarded a $2,000,000 CWSRF loan and a $750,000 DWSRF loan.
  • LaGrange was awarded a $3,000,000 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Port Wentworth was awarded a $2,022,000 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Richland was awarded an $187,390 DWSRF loan.
  • Savannah was awarded a $22,568,000 CWSRF loan.
  • Scotland was awarded a $250,000 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Tallapoosa was awarded a $1,267,000 DWSRF loan.
  • Decatur County was awarded a $2,360,000 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Monroe County was awarded a $1,983,000 DWSRF loan.
  • Paulding County was awarded a $6,000,000 Georgia Reservoir Fund loan.
  • Towns County was awarded a $3,200,000 DWSRF loan.
  • Twiggs County was awarded a $520,000 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Carroll County Water Authority was awarded a $10,000,000 Georgia Reservoir Fund loan.
  • Etowah Water & Sewer Authority was awarded a $10,000,000 Georgia Reservoir Fund loan.
  • Hart County Water and Sewer Utility Authority was awarded a $2,000,000 DWSRF loan.
  • Lumpkin County Water & Sewerage Authority was awarded a $1,000,000 DWSRF loan.

Quotes:

“The water, water supply and wastewater infrastructure programs administered by GEFA assist local governments with improving their environmental infrastructure. Financing water, water supply, sewer and solid waste projects, as well as energy and water conservation projects, encourage economic growth and the stewardship of our environment.” – GEFA Executive Director Kevin Clark.

“I’d like to express my appreciation to Gov. Deal and to 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.

“GEFA financing for water, water supply and wastewater infrastructure helps communities in all areas of the state. The projects that we agreed to finance 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 Dahlonega Gary McCullough.

Project and Loan Details:

Town of Bowersville

The $96,673 Georgia Fund loan will finance installing a water line along West Main Street to service new industry west of the town. The project will include installing approximately 3,700 linear feet of 6-inch PVC water line and three fire hydrants. Bowersville will pay 3.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The total project cost is $137,473, with Bowersville receiving $40,800 from the OneGeorgia Authority.

Town of Braselton

The $1,842,250 CWSRF loan will finance replacing the Mulberry Interceptor sewer, a 10-inch line constructed in 1986, and extend sewer service along Georgia Highway 53 North, allowing the city to collect and treat wastewater flows from the city of Oakwood. This project will provide sewer service to an area has with a history of septic system failures. Braselton will pay 1.03 percent interest for 20 years. Braselton is eligible for a reduced interest rate since the town is designated as a WaterFirst Community by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The total project cost is $3,550,000 and Braselton has received $292,500 from the Appalachian Regional Commission, as well as $1,415,250 in Oakwood capacity fees.

City of Baldwin

The $1,634,000 DWSRF loan will finance constructing a new 500,000 gallon elevated storage tank that will replace an existing 100,000 gallon ground storage tank, service and paint existing storage tanks, construct a booster pump station, and install pressure-reducing valves in the distribution system. Baldwin will pay 2.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $397,000, if all loan funds are drawn. The total project cost is $2,134,000, including $300,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission and $200,000 from the OneGeorgia Authority.

City of Clayton

The $2,000,000 CWSRF loan will finance rehabilitating the city’s sewage collection system, including replacing manholes, smoke testing, flow metering, and pipe replacement and rehabilitation. The project will also address a significant portion of the inflow and infiltration occurring within the collection system, and reduce energy consumption at the city’s wastewater pumping and treatment facilities. The $750,000 DWSRF loan will finance rehabilitating and replacing existing lines within the city’s water distribution system, which will help address high-level water loss in the city’s distribution system.

Clayton will pay 1.03 percent interest on the 20-year CWSRF loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $200,000, if all loan funds are drawn. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible energy conservation project. The total cost for the CWSRF project is $2,000,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

Clayton will pay 0.52 percent interest on the 15-year DWSRF loan, which includes principal forgiveness up to $187,500, if all loan funds are drawn. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible water conservation project. The total cost for the DWSRF project is $750,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

City of LaGrange

The $3,000,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance constructing a new solid waste cell at the LaGrange landfill. The project will consist of lining 15.4 acres, constructing a mechanically-stabilized earthen wall, installing a leachate collection system and leachate sump with automated pumping system, as well as installing stormwater piping and erosion control systems. LaGrange will pay 3.03 percent interest on the 20 year loan, with the city providing $3,700,000 in local funds. The total project cost is $6,700,000.

City of Port Wentworth

The $2,022,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance constructing a new 500,000 gallon elevated water tank and other modifications to the existing water system in the northern area of the city. Port Wentworth will pay 3.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The total project cost is $2,022,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

City of Richland

The $187,390 DWSRF loan will finance retrofitting approximately 575 existing water meters with radio read meters and install radio read equipment and software. The project will provide more accurate water billing, allow customers to have the ability to detect leaks, and reduce man hours required to read meters and prepare billing for the city. Richland will pay 1.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible water conservation project. The total project cost is $187,390 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

City of Savannah

The $22,568,000 CWSRF loan will finance constructing a new temperature-phased anaerobic digestion system at the President Street Water Reclamation Facility to produce biosolids for future sale to local agricultural industries. The project includes conversion of existing gravity thickeners to dissolved air floatation thickeners; construction of a new solids digestion train including a thermophilic digester, sludge holding tanks, a mesophilic digester, and treated sludge storage tanks; and upgrades to the solids truck-loading facility. Savannah will pay 1.03 percent interest on the 20 year loan, and is eligible for a reduced interest rate since the city is designated as a WaterFirst Community by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The total project cost is $22,568,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

City of Scotland

The $250,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance installing a groundwater radon removal system on both of the city’s drinking water wells. Scotland will pay .50 percent interest on the 25-year loan. The total project cost is $300,000, with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs providing $50,000 toward the project.

City of Tallapoosa

The $1,267,000 DWSRF loan will finance water distribution system improvements, including replacing small lines and looping existing dead end lines. Two existing ground storage tanks will be repaired and repainted. Tallapoosa will pay 1.32 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $316,750, if all loan funds are drawn. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible water conservation project. The total project cost is $1,567,000, with the Appalachian Regional Commission contributing $300,000.

Decatur County

The $2,360,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance constructing a new municipal solid waste cell. The cell will add 12.7 acres to the existing landfill and seven to 10 years to the landfill’s lifespan. Decatur County will pay 1.52 percent interest on the 10-year loan. The total project cost is $2,360,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

Monroe County

The $1,983,000 DWSRF loan will finance installing water line extensions along Pea Ridge, Taylor Road and Dames Ferry Road in southeastern Monroe County. Monroe County will pay 2.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $500,000, if all loan funds are drawn.

Paulding County

As part of the Governor’s Water Supply Program, the $6,000,000 Georgia Reservoir Fund loan will finance costs associated with the Richland Creek Reservoir. The 305-acre pumped-storage reservoir on Richland Creek in northern Paulding County will be filled with water from the Etowah River. The reservoir is being designed with a projected yield of 35 million gallons per day (MGD), and will provide 3.43 billion gallons of water storage in the Coosa River Basin.

Paulding County’s loan terms:

  • The county will repay the loan over 40 years.
  • Zero percent interest during loan drawdown.
  • 2.03 percent interest during the repayment period.
  • No closing fee.

The total cost of the reservoir project is estimated to be $99,650,000. GEFA provided loans of $29,100,000 in 2012 and $21,600,000 in 2013.

Towns County Water & Sewer Authority (WSA)

The $3,200,000 DWSRF loan will finance rehabilitating the existing water distribution system, which includes replacing water lines and booster pump stations. The Towns County WSA will pay 2.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $500,000, if all loan funds are drawn. The total project cost is $3,200,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

Twiggs County

The $520,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance constructing a 300 gallon per minute (GPM) deep well, connect a 10,000 gallon hydropneumatic tank to the county’s existing water system, and make upgrades to the existing pump to expand capacity from 150 GPM to 300 GPM. Twiggs County will pay 3.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The total project cost is $620,000, with the county providing $100,000 in SPLOST funds.

Carroll County Water Authority

As part of the Governor’s Water Supply Program, the $10,000,000 Georgia Reservoir Fund loan will finance expanding the storage of an existing flood control dam on Indian Creek. The 643-acre pumped-storage reservoir will be filled initially with water from Indian Creek and, in the future, with water from the Little Tallapoosa River. The reservoir will be designed with a projected yield of 18 million gallons per day (MGD) and will provide nine billion gallons of water storage in the Tallapoosa River Basin.

The Carroll County Water Authority loan terms:

  • The Authority will repay the loan over 40 years.
  • Zero percent interest during loan drawdown.
  • 2.03 percent interest during the repayment period.
  • Interest only payments during the first seven years. Afterward, principal and interest payments with level debt service.
  • No closing fee.

The total cost of the reservoir project is estimated to be $110,120,000. GEFA provided a loan of $9,070,000 in 2013.

Etowah Water & Sewer Authority (WSA)

As part of the Governor’s Water Supply Program, the $10,000,000 Georgia Reservoir Fund loan will finance costs associated with the Russell Creek Reservoir project. This project involves expanding the storage of an existing flood control dam on Russell Creek. The 137-acre pumped-storage reservoir will be filled with water pumped from the Etowah River. The reservoir will be designed to have a projected yield of 11.5 million gallons per day (MGD), and will provide 1.37 billion gallons of water storage in the Coosa River Basin.

Etowah WSA loan terms:

  • The Authority will repay the loan over 40 years.
  • Zero percent interest during loan drawdown.
  • 2.03 percent interest during the repayment period.
  • Interest only payments during the first seven years. Afterward, principal and interest payments with level debt service.
  • No closing fee.

The total cost of the reservoir project is estimated to be $34,787,720.

Hart County Water and Sewer Utility Authority (WSA)

The $2,000,000 DWSRF loan will finance extending water lines to residents in the Bethany Church area in southwest Hart County. They are not currently served by a public water system. Hart County WSA will pay 0.52 percent interest on the 10-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $500,000, if all loan funds are drawn. The total project cost is $2,000,000 with GEFA providing the entire amount.

Lumpkin County Water & Sewerage Authority (WSA)

The $1,000,000 DWSRF loan will finance constructing a new water supply well, rehabilitating an existing water storage tank, and constructing 12-inch piping to connect the storage tank to the existing distribution system. The Lumpkin County WSA will pay 2.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $250,000, if all loan funds are drawn. The total project cost is $1,300,000 with the Appalachian Regional Commission providing $300,000.

Additional Information:

The CWSRF, a federal loan program administered by GEFA, provides communities throughout Georgia with low-interest loans to fund wastewater infrastructure and water pollution control projects. 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 from this program are available up to $25 million.

The DWSRF, a federal loan program administered by GEFA, provides communities throughout Georgia with low-interest loans to fund water infrastructure projects that deliver safe, affordable drinking water. Eligible projects include a wide 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 from this program 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 from this program are available up to $3 million.

In January 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal directed GEFA to develop and launch the GWSP and committed $300 million to the program over four years. The purpose of the GWSP is to align and mobilize the resources of the state of Georgia to assist local governments with developing new sources of water supply adequate to meet future water demand forecasts.

GEFA provides loan financing at a reduced interest rate to local governments and authorities for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at water and wastewater treatment plants, landfills, and municipal solid waste facilities, in addition to infrastructure improvements. Eligible projects include, but aren’t limited to: landfill gas reclamation; solar photovoltaic and thin film solar geo-membrane covers; wind and biomass; variable frequency drives and energy efficiency measures; energy management systems and controls; biogas heat and power recovery systems; and infiltration and inflow projects that reduce pumping costs.