Georgia communities receive infrastructure loans totaling $52.2 million

May 10, 2016

Twenty-one Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $52,224,662 for water, sewer, and wastewater infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) board of directors.

The communities include the cities of Abbeville, Blue Ridge, Boston, Bronwood, Butler, Cairo, Commerce, Cornelia, Grovetown, Hartwell, Hinesville, Leesburg, Nashville, Ocilla, Pooler, Roberta, Rochelle, St. Marys, Woodbine, the Downtown Development Authority of Madison, and Webster County.  

Approved loans:

  • Abbeville awarded a $139,595 Georgia Fund loan
  • Blue Ridge awarded a $211,985 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan
  • Boston awarded a $150,000 DWSRF loan
  • Bronwood awarded a $154,625 DWSRF loan
  • Butler awarded a $2,010,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan
  • Cairo awarded a $1,189,645 DWSRF loan
  • Commerce awarded a $1,670,000 DWSRF loan
  • Cornelia awarded a $975,000 CWSRF loan
  • Grovetown awarded a $23,224,100 CWSRF loan and a $468,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Hartwell awarded a $3,863,000 DWSRF loan
  • Hinesville awarded a $4,622,450 CWSRF loan and a $1,057,792 DWSRF loan
  • Leesburg awarded a $979,161 DWSRF loan
  • Nashville awarded a $1,000,000 DWSRF loan
  • Ocilla awarded a $623,300 DWSRF loan
  • Pooler awarded a $6,176,183 CWSRF loan
  • Roberta awarded a $725,000 DWSRF loan
  • Rochelle awarded a $282,906 Georgia Fund loan
  • St. Marys awarded a $480,670 CWSRF loan
  • Woodbine awarded a $431,250 CWSRF loan
  • Downtown Development Authority of Madison (DDA) awarded a $1,680,000 CWSRF loan
  • Webster County awarded a $110,000 DWSRF 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 Abbeville

The $139,595 Georgia Fund loan will finance the extension of an 8-inch water main, fire hydrant and the installation of a wastewater lift station and force main. This project will provide water and sewer services to Abbeville’s Industrial Park. The city will pay 3.09 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

City of Blue Ridge

The $211,985 DWSRF loan will finance phase II of the city’s plan to install an automatic meter reading (AMR) system. Phase II will replace 419 residential meters and 46 commercial meters along with 175 meter box lids. This project will provide accurate water meter data collection and reduce non-revenue water losses in the system. The city will pay 1.09 percent interest rate 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 up to $84,800 if all loan funds are drawn. 

City of Boston

The $150,000 DWSRF loan will finance replacing approximately 2,000 linear feet of asbestos cement water main with new PVC water main, replacing 18 existing fire hydrants, and installing 15 gate valves that will make it feasible to isolate sections of the water system when repairs are necessary. The water system improvements will reduce water losses, enhance system reliability, and reduce operation and maintenance requirements. The city will pay 0.75 percent interest rate on the 15-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible water conservation project, and includes principal forgiveness up to $60,000 if all loan funds are drawn.  

City of Bronwood

The $154,000 DWSRF loan will finance replacing 250 aged and leaking water meters with an automatic meter reading (AMR) system, which includes software, meter reading equipment, and backflow preventers. This project will provide accurate water meter data collection and reduce non-revenue water losses in the system. The city will pay 1.09 percent interest rate 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 up to $61,850 if all loan funds are drawn. 

City of Butler

The $2,010,000 CWSRF loan will finance rehabilitating the city’s wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) and pumping stations. This project includes the replacement of existing screens and grit removal systems, the installation of new trickling filter mechanisms, and the replacement of the influent and transfer pump stations. In addition, a new submersible pump station will be installed replacing the city’s Oak Street pump station. This project will replace pump stations and components of the city’s WWTF that have already failed or are at risk for failing. The city will pay 2.72 percent interest on the 30-year loan, which includes a principal forgiveness of $375,000 if all loan funds are drawn.

City of Cairo

The $1,189,645 DWSRF loan will finance the installation of advanced meter infrastructure (AMI). Approximately 3,300 meters will be retrofitted with new interface units and approximately 925 meters will be replaced with new radio read meters. The project includes installation of base station, hardware and software required to implement the AMI system. This project will provide for accurate water meter data collection and reduce non-revenue water losses in the system. Cairo will pay 0.50 percent interest rate 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 up to $475,858 if all loan funds are drawn.

City of Commerce

The $1,670,000 DWSRF loan will finance replacing leaking water lines with approximately 7,500 linear feet 12-inch water lines along with a booster pump station. The city also plans to install isolated valves and pressure reducing valves on existing water mains. This project will provide reliable system pressure for the city’s existing customers. The city will pay 1.42 percent interest rate 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 up to $500,000 if all loan funds are drawn.

City of Cornelia

The $975,000 CWSRF loan will finance the construction of new sanitary sewer mains complete with manholes, sewer laterals, cleanouts and all necessary appurtances. This project will upgrade the city’s sanitary sewer system in an area experiencing issues with inflow and infiltration. Inflow and infiltration results in decreased efficiency of sewage treatment and may cause sewage volumes to exceed design capacity. The city will pay 0.50 percent interest on the 5-year loan, which includes a principal forgiveness of $195,000 if all funds are drawn. 

City of Grovetown

The $23,224,100 CWSRF loan will finance the construction of a new 3 million gallon-per-day (MGD) activated sludge water pollution control plant. This project will allow for current and future growth in the city by providing additional wastewater treatment capacity and allowing more connections for wastewater service. The city will pay 2.72 percent interest on the 30-year loan.

The $468,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the extension of the Euchee Creek Interceptor Sewer farther up the Echee Creek basin. This project will provide sewer service to pending residential development in the city. The city will pay 1.94 percent interest on the 10-year loan.

City of Hartwell

The $3,863,000 DWSRF loan will finance the rehabilitation of the city’s water treatment plant, including construction of a new clearwell, filter and underdrain replacement, and installation of new raw water and high-service pumps. This project will allow the city’s water treatment plant to operate more efficiently and continue to provide safe drinking water. The city will pay 1.09 percent interest rate 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 up to $500,000 if all loan funds are drawn.  

City of Hinesville

The $4,622,450 CWSRF loan will finance the replacement of the pump station and force main for the lines conveying sewer flows from Fort Stewart to Hinesville. This project will replace aged and degraded pumps and lines and will eliminate associated sewage spills into Peacock Creek. The city will pay 1.09 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which is eligible for a reduced interest rate since Hinesville is designated as a WaterFirst Community by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

The $1,057,792 DWSRF loan will finance the installation of automated metering infrastructure (AMI) and SCADA controls at the city’s pump stations, wells and storage tanks. This project will allow for more efficient water meter data collection and will provide for remote control and oversight of the city’s water distribution system. System energy savings are also projected as a result of installation of SCADA controls. The city will pay 1.09 percent interest rate on the 20-year loan. The loan also qualifies for the WaterFirst interest rate reduction, and includes principal forgiveness up to $423,117 if all loan funds are drawn.

City of Leesburg

The $979,161 DWSRF loan will finance raising the existing 500,000 gallon elevated water tank, upgrading the existing wells with high efficiency pump motors, water main improvements, replacement of leaking water main and SCADA system improvements for the tank and well sites. This project will ensure Georgia Environmental Protection Division minimum standards for pressure by providing a more reliable water supply and eliminating deficiencies in the water distribution system. Leesburg will pay 1.70 percent interest rate 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 up to $154,044 if all loan funds are drawn. 

City of Nashville

The $1,000,000 DWSRF loan will help finance replacing existing water meters and the installation of an automatic meter reading (AMR) system, including transmitters, radio data collection equipment, and integration of software with existing billing system. This project will provide accurate water meter data collection and reduce non-revenue water losses in the system. The city will pay 1.09 percent interest rate 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 up to $400,000 if all loan funds are drawn.

City of Ocilla

The $623,300 DWSRF loan will finance replacing 1,200 aged water meters with an automatic meter reading (AMR) system along with the necessary meter reading equipment and software upgrades. Leaking water lines will also be replaced when encountered during construction. This project will provide accurate water meter data collection and reduce non-revenue water losses in the system. The city will pay 0.75 percent interest rate on the 15-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because it’s an eligible water conservation project, and includes principal forgiveness up to $249,320 if all loan funds are drawn.

City of Pooler

The $6,176,183 CWSRF loan will finance expanding the city’s wastewater treatment plant from 2.5 million gallon-per-day (MGD) to 3.3 MGD to accommodate current and future growth. The project consists of replacing the membrane bioreactor module, fine screens, and chemical feed systems and chemical storage; construction of a septic receiving station and pond pump station; and other improvements at the plant. The city will pay 2.09 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

City of Roberta

The $725,000 DWSRF loan will finance decommissioning an existing elevated water tank and installing approximately 4,700 linear feet of 8-inch water main along GA-128 and Industrial Park Road. The project will also install three new pressure valves, replace approximately 620 commercial meters with an automatic meter reading (AMR) system, and upgrade the existing telemetry system. The AMR system will provide accurate water meter data collection and reduce non-revenue water losses. The city will pay 1.49 percent interest rate 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 up to $290,000 if all loan funds are drawn.

City of Rochelle

The $282,906 Georgia Fund loan will finance the extension of the water main and sewer force main to provide water and sewer services to the new K-12 school in Wilcox County scheduled to break ground in 2016. The city will pay 3.09 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

City of St. Marys

The $480,670 CWSRF loan will finance replacing an 8-inch PVC sanitary sewer force main with 12-inch PVC force main. The project will eliminate an undersized pipe in the sewage collection system, allowing for an increase in overall system capacity and a reduction of sanitary sewer overflows. The city will pay 1.09 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which is eligible for a reduced interest rate since St. Marys is designated as a WaterFirst Community by DCA.

City of Woodbine

The $431,250 CWSRF loan will finance the construction of a 125 kilowatt (kW) solar energy generation facility at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. This project will provide power production at the wastewater treatment plant and reduce the net operating cost of the facility while shielding the city from future electric rate increases. The city will pay 0.75 percent interest on a 15-year loan. This loan qualifies for an interest rate reduction because it’s an eligible energy conservation project, and includes principal forgiveness of $129,375 if all loan funds are drawn.   

Downtown Development Authority of Madison

The $1,680,000 CWSRF loan will finance the construction of green infrastructure including wet ponds to manage stormwater runoff from downtown Madison and associated land acquisition. This project will improve water quality in local streams by capturing, treating and reducing stormwater runoff and provide a source of passive recreation for the community. This facility will also serve as a new park for residents and visitors to the downtown area of the city. The DDA will pay 1 percent interest on the 15-year loan, which includes a principal forgiveness of $336,000 if all loan funds are drawn.

Webster County

The $110,000 DWSRF loan will finance rehabilitating the existing well, which includes replacement of discharge piping, valves, treatment equipment, electrical upgrades, well building upgrades, telemetry equipment, and fencing for security purposes. This project will address the county’s need for a redundant water supply by rehabilitating the Weston Well that has not been used approximately 10 years. Webster County will pay 0.94 percent interest rate on the 10-year loan. The loan includes principal forgiveness up to $44,000 if all loan funds are drawn.  

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.