Georgia communities receive infrastructure loans totaling $48.4 million

August 22, 2017

Loan commitments include energy, land, and water conservation projects 

Sixteen Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $48,440,000 for water, sewer, stormwater, and wastewater infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) board of directors. 

Approved loans:

  • Camilla awarded a $1,406,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) conservation loan
  • Claxton awarded a $2,500,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) conservation loan
  • Commerce awarded two Georgia Fund loans totaling $7,480,000
  • Cook County Board of Commissioners awarded a $2,691,000 CWSRF loan and a $1,400,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Dawsonville awarded a $569,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Dexter awarded a $374,000 CWSRF loan
  • Garden City awarded a $525,000 CWSRF conservation loan
  • Griffin awarded a $16,000,000 CWSRF conservation loan   
  • Hinesville awarded a $2,605,000 DWSRF loan and a $409,000 CWSRF loan
  • Hoschton awarded a $315,000 CWSRF conservation loan
  • McRae-Helena awarded a $2,326,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Peachtree City awarded a $3,155,000 CWSRF loan
  • Pickens County awarded a $2,600,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Royston awarded $2,000,000 CWSRF conservation loan
  • Satilla Regional Water and Sewer Authority awarded a $1,685,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Washington awarded a $400,000 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 Camilla  

The $1,406,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance the installation of water mains, fire hydrants, service lines, valves, and an advanced metering infrastructure. This project will reduce water loss, enhance system reliability, and reduce operation and maintenance requirements. The city will pay 0.89 percent on the 20-year loan. The loan will finance an eligible water conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes principal forgiveness up to $230,787 if all funds are drawn.  

City of Claxton 

The $2,500,000 CWSRF conservation loan will help finance improvements to the headworks, lagoons and ponds, spray irrigation fields, control building, pump station, and lab equipment at the existing wastewater treatment plant. This project will address inefficiencies at the plant and allow the facility to meet future state and federal regulatory requirements. The city will pay 1.22 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because a portion of the project is a conservation activity, and includes a principal forgiveness up to $500,000 if all funds are drawn.

City of Commerce   

The $5,350,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the construction a pretreatment facility. The facility will pretreat the waste stream from Diana Food prior to entering the city’s sewer collection system. The city will pay 1.90 percent interest on the 15-year loan.

The $2,130,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the installation of gravity sewers, force mains, lift stations, and water mains. This project will extend water and sewer infrastructure to serve the Banks Crossing Business Park, which will allow for future economic development. The city will pay 1.90 percent interest on the 15-year loan.

The Cook County Board of Commissioners

The $1,400,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the construction of four solid waste cells at the Cook County municipal solid waste landfill. The $2,691,000 CWSRF loan will finance the installation of liner and high-density polyethylene pipe as part of the construction of the cells. The cells will provide additional capacity to accommodate Cook County’s growing population and serve as a source of funding. The county will pay 0.67 percent interest on the 5-year Georgia fund loan and 0.56 percent interest on the 10-year CWSRF loan.   

City of Dawsonville   

The $569,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance replacing approximately 1,190 water meters with an automated meter reading system and the installation of backflow preventers on services where none currently exist. This will reduce water loss, enhance system reliability, and reduce operation and maintenance requirements. The city will pay 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 principle forgiveness of $113,800 if all funds are drawn.

Town of Dexter

The $374,000 CWSRF loan will finance improvements to the town’s water pollution control plant, including the installation of a baffle curtain, surface aerators, and a chlorination/dechlorination system. The improvements will allow the town to meet state water quality standards. The town will pay 1.89 percent interest on the 20-year loan. 

City of Garden City  

The $525,000 CWSRF conservation loan will finance the purchasing of two separate parcels of land—the Porter Property and the Tyson Property. The land purchase will permanently protect undeveloped tracts, including the Savannah and Ogeechee Canals. The protected land will contribute to the Chatham County Greenway, and it will also help improve stormwater drainage in the area. The city will pay 0.50 percent interest on the 10-year loan. The loan will finance an eligible conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes a principal forgiveness up to $131,250 if all funds are drawn.

City of Griffin

The $16,000,000 CWSRF conservation loan will finance wastewater treatment upgrades, including the construction of a new headworks, aeration basins, secondary clarifiers, a return activated sludge pump station, tertiary filters, an ultraviolet disinfection system, and a post aeration system. This project will allow the city to operate the wastewater treatment plant more efficiently and meet limits set in its wastewater discharge permit. The city will pay 0.89 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The loan will finance an eligible energy conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes a principal forgiveness up to $500,000 if all funds are drawn.

City of Hinesville    

The $2,605,000 DWSRF loan will finance the raising of three existing elevated storage tanks, removal of one storage tank, and the rehabilitation of existing wells and well buildings. This project will address the city’s low water system pressure. The city will pay 0.89 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness up to $500,000 if all funds are drawn.  

The $409,000 CWSRF loan will finance the extension of reuse lines. This project will reduce the amount of wastewater discharge and extend reuse lines to proposed commercial and residential developments. The city will pay 0.50 percent interest on the 10-year loan.

City of Hoschton

The $315,000 CWSRF conservation loan will finance the installation of gravity sewer lines and the demolition of a failing pump station. This project will address the city’s aging sewer infrastructure. The city will pay a 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 McRae-Helena

The $2,326,000 DWSRF conservation loan rehabilitating the water distribution system and replacing water meters with advanced metering infrastructure. The city will pay 1.34 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because a portion of the project is a conservation activity, and includes principal forgiveness up to $465,820 if all funds are drawn.

City of Peachtree City

The $3,155,000 CWSRF loan will finance an upgrade to the spillway of the Lake Peachtree dam to assist with stormwater management and to improve the long-term operation of the lake. The city will pay 0.81 percent interest on the 10-year loan. 

Pickens County

The $2,600,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the construction of a water treatment plant with a capacity of 325,000 gallons per day, a 100,000-gallon ground storage tank, and upgrades to the existing dam. This project will give the community of Grandview Lake, the Salvation Army, and residents in unincorporated Pickens County access to a public water system and provide adequate fire protection. The county will pay 2.39 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

City of Royston

The $2,000,000 CWSRF conservation loan will finance the rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment plant. This project will address the inefficiencies at the wastewater treatment plant and allow the facility to meet future state and federal regulatory requirements. The city will pay 1.55 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because a portion of the project is a conservation activity, and includes a principal forgiveness up to $500,000 if all funds are drawn.

Satilla Regional Water and Sewer Authority

The $1,685,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance the replacement of aging water meters with an automatic meter reading system and the installation of backflow preventers. This project will address the city’s issues with water loss, enhance system reliability, and reduce operation and maintenance requirements. The Satilla Regional WSA will pay 0.65 percent interest on the 15-year loan. The loan will finance an eligible water conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes principal forgiveness up to $336,845 if all funds are drawn. 

City of Washington

The $400,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance replacing manholes in the industrial park to accommodate future growth and economic development for the city. The city will pay 1.90 percent interest on the 15-year loan.

Other board actions:

Bartow County

The GEFA board approved a 10-year term increase to a CWSRF loan originally approved in May 2016.

Carroll County Water Authority     

The GEFA board awarded a $21,000,000 increase to a Georgia Reservoir Fund loan originally approved for $10,000,000 in August 2014.

City of Comer

The GEFA board awarded a $125,000 increase to a DWSRF loan originally approved for $362,000 in August 2016.

City of Garden City

The GEFA board ratified an emergency loan authorized by the GEFA executive director. The city received a $500,000 Georgia Fund loan to replace four rotary brush aerator unis at the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The project will address aging infrastructure and repair damages caused by Hurricane Matthew.

South Fulton Municipal Regional Water and Sewer Authority

The GEFA board approved a revised project description and special conditions to a Georgia Fund loan originally approved in October 2013 for $10,500,000. In addition to financing the construction of the Bear Creek Reservoir, the loan can also help finance the construction of a direct water withdrawal from the Chattahoochee River and the interconnection(s) to purchase water from one or more suppliers.

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.