ATLANTA - Eleven Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $12,354,701 for water, water supply, sewer and wastewater infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) board of directors.

The communities include the town of Chester, the cities of Ball Ground, Helen, McRae-Helena, Richland Sylvania, Thomasville and Woodbury, DeKalb and Marion counties, and the Fort Valley Utility Commission.

Approved Loans:

  • Ball Ground was awarded a $173,200 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Chester was awarded a $609,890 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Helen was awarded a $350,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan.
  • McRae-Helena was awarded a $1,802,616 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Richland was awarded a $135,000 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Sylvania was awarded a $1,173,750 CWSRF loan.
  • Thomasville was awarded a $665,000 CWSRF loan.
  • Woodbury was awarded a $2,448,000 Georgia Fund loan.
  • DeKalb County was awarded a $3,000,000 Georgia Fund loan.
  • Marion County was awarded a $497,245 Georgia Fund loan.
  • The Fort Valley Utility Commission was awarded a $1,500,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan.

Quotes:

“The water, sewer 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 Dallas Boyd L. Austin.

Project and Loan Details:

City of Ball Ground

The $173,200 Georgia Fund loan will finance constructing a new sewer pump station and a sewer line from the existing Ball Ground sewer system to Holcomb Crossing. The project will remove an existing commercial development from septic and connect the Holcomb Crossing development to public sewer collection, allowing the existing commercial development to maintain operations. The project will also help with future expansion in the area. Ball Ground will pay 1.52 percent interest on the 10-year loan.

Town of Chester

The $609,890 Georgia Fund loan will finance replacing approximately 28,570 linear feet of land application system distribution line, 50 gate valves, 345 sprinkler riser assemblies, and five groundwater monitoring wells at the town’s wastewater treatment plant. Chester will pay 3.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

City of Helen

The $350,000 CWSRF loan will finance rehabilitating approximately 1,500 linear feet of sewer line as part of the Willow Pond Sewer Rehabilitation project. The project will help reduce inflow and infiltration in the city’s collection system, reducing peak flows at the city’s wastewater treatment plant and energy costs associated with pumping in the collection system. Helen will pay 0.5 percent interest on the 10-year loan. This loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible energy conservation project, and includes principal forgiveness of up to $52,500, if all loan funds are drawn.

City of McRae-Helena

The $1,802,616 Georgia Fund loan will finance constructing a 700 gallon-per-minute pump station at the site of the existing Helena wastewater treatment plant, replacing pumps in the McRae pump station, installing bar screens at both the McRae and Helena plants, and adding approximately 7,900 linear feet of 10-inch force main. The cities of Helena and McRae merged into one city on January 1, 2015, and additional wastewater treatment capacity is needed to serve the state prison located in McRae-Helena. The Helena wastewater treatment plant will be converted into a pump station to pump waste from the Helena wastewater treatment plant to the McRae wastewater treatment plant, which currently has excess capacity for this additional flow. McRae-Helena will pay 3.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

City of Richland

The $135,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance repairing the embankment at the water pollution control plant, removing and replacing existing manholes and existing reinforced concrete pipe with approximately 17 linear feet of ductile iron pipe, reconstructing the existing cascade aerator, and resetting the meter vault. Richland will pay 0.52 percent interest on the 10-year loan. The city will also receive a $50,000 Department of Community Affairs Immediate Threat and Danger Grant for this project.

City of Sylvania

The $1,173,750 CWSRF loan will finance improvements at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The project includes replacing surface aerators in the aerator basins and equipment in the two existing clarifiers; constructing a new clarifier to replace two settling tanks, piping modifications, and a new control building; installing a new effluent sampler, miscellaneous electrical, instrumentation and yard piping for newly installed equipment and structures; and updating the chlorination system. Sylvania will pay 2.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

City of Thomasville

The $665,000 CWSRF loan will finance rehabilitating the city’s existing sewer system in its Stevens Street Urban Redevelopment Area. The project includes repairing existing sewer lines and manholes, and will address inflow and infiltration issues in the collection system, reducing peak flows and energy use at the wastewater treatment plant. Thomasville will pay 1.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan. This loan qualifies for an interest rate reduction because it’s an eligible energy conservation project, and includes principal forgiveness of up to $99,750, if all loan funds are drawn.

City of Woodbury

The $2,448,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance rehabilitating approximately 15,410 linear feet of new waterline and the raw water pump station and filter, as well as purchasing new fire hydrants, valves, metering system, a new plant and lab equipment. Woodbury will pay 0.76 percent interest on the 5-year loan.

DeKalb County

The $3,000,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance purchasing additional roll carts for residential trash pick-up. Another Georgia Fund loan for $3,000,000 was awarded for the first phase of this project in October 2014. DeKalb County will pay 0.76 percent interest on the five-year loan.

Marion County

The $497,245 Georgia Fund loan will finance constructing a new 1 million gallon per day water supply well and associated treatment facility in north Marion County, adjacent to the county’s raw water storage facility on Blueville Road. Relocating the county’s primary raw water source from the existing wells south of Buena Vista, Ga., to a well adjacent to the county’s existing storage tanks will reduce the energy required to fill the county’s storage tank and also allow it to be filled faster. This will provide more reliable water service to customers and generate significant energy cost savings through reduction in pumping costs. Marion County will pay 1.52 percent interest on the 15-year loan, which qualifies for an interest rate reduction because it’s an eligible energy conservation project.

The Fort Valley Utility Commission

The $1,500,000 DWSRF loan will finance replacing approximately four miles of asbestos cement (AC) water mains with new PVC lines, eliminating all known AC lines from the commission’s water distribution system. The project will eliminate AC lines at high risk for structural failure and water loss. Fort Valley Utility Commission will pay 1.03 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of up to $500,000, if all loan funds are drawn. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible water conservation project.

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.

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.