Georgia communities receive infrastructure loans totaling $50 million

May 8, 2018

Loan commitments include energy and water conservation projects

Nineteen Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $50,575,000 for water, wastewater, and sewer infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) board of directors.

Approved loans:

  • Braselton awarded a $753,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan
  • Clarkesville awarded a $5,088,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) loan
  • Cornelia awarded a $2,986,000 CWSRF loan
  • Elberton awarded a $2,500,000 DWSRF loan
  • Emanuel County Development Authority awarded a $3,000,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Franklin County Board of Commissioners awarded a $3,500,000 DWSRF loan
  • Griffin awarded an $8,000,000 CWSRF loan.
  • Hawkinsville awarded a $2,500,000 CWSRF conservation loan
  • Hiawassee awarded a $800,000 CWSRF loan
  • Homer awarded two DWSRF loans totaling $1,150,000
  • Hoschton awarded a $428,000 DWSRF loan
  • Lavonia awarded a $3,906,000 CWSRF conservation loan
  • Madison County Industrial Development and Building Authority awarded a $4,700,000 DWSRF loan
  • Milledgeville awarded a $3,000,000 DWSRF loan
  • Mitchell County Board of Commissioners awarded a $1,750,000 CWSRF loan
  • Pinehurst awarded an $85,000 CWSRF conservation loan
  • Porterdale awarded a $2,514,000 CWSRF loan
  • Richmond Hill awarded a $2,900,000 Georgia Fund loan
  • Towns County Water and Sewerage Authority awarded a $1,015,000 DWSRF conservation 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 White County Commission Chairman Travis Turner.

Project and loan details:

Town of Braselton

The $753,000 CWSRF loan will finance replacing the Vineyards lift station that has reached the end of its useful life. The project will improve sewer system efficiency and increase capacity to meet demand. The town will pay 0.50 percent interest on the 10-year loan, which is eligible for a reduced interest rate because the town is a WaterFirst Community.

City of Clarkesville

The $5,088,000 DWSRF loan will help finance the rehabilitation of the city’s water treatment plant and the construction of a booster pump station and elevated storage tank. The project will address the city’s aging infrastructure and will help the treatment plant operate more efficiently. The city will pay 0.73 percent interest on the 5-year loan.

City of Cornelia

The $2,986,000 CWSRF loan will finance the construction of a new sanitary sewer system and storm sewer mains. The city is experiencing sanitary sewer spills due to inflow, infiltration, and blockage on Wayside Street that causes stormwater to flow into neighborhood streets. The city will pay 1.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because the city is a WaterFirst Community and includes principal forgiveness of $500,000 if all funds are drawn.

City of Elberton

The $2,500,000 DWSRF loan will help finance the expansion of the city’s water supply infrastructure. The project will replace and extend mains to provide water service to unincorporated areas of Elbert County. It will also help Madison County’s water system meet peak demand and provide water supply redundancy through an interconnection. The city will pay 2.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of $400,000 if all funds are drawn. 

Emanuel County Development Authority

The $3,000,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance the construction of three pump stations, a force main, and three chemical feed buildings at the 1-16 Industrial Park. The project will construct sewerage infrastructure to support the capacity needs of prospective industries and a new sawmill facility. The city will pay 2.75 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

Franklin County Board of Commissioners

The $3,500,000 DWSRF loan will finance the installation of a new ground storage tank and mixing system, construct new wells and an elevated storage tank, remove an existing abandoned storage tank, and provide new water main for distribution. This project will upgrade the county water system to meet water supply demands and provide adequate water quality. The county will pay 2.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness of $500,000 if all funds are drawn. 

City of Griffin    

The $8,000,000 CWSRF loan will finance the construction of a new influent lift station, new headworks, and two settling ponds at the Shoal Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. This project will address the city’s aging infrastructure and help the treatment plant to operate more efficiently. The city will pay 1.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which is eligible for a reduced interest rate because the city is a WaterFirst Community.

City of Hawkinsville

The $2,500,000 CWSRF conservation loan will finance the rehabilitation of the wastewater treatment plant. This project will restore equipment, improve efficiency of the treatment process, and bring the plant’s facilities up-to-date with current codes. The city will pay 1.95 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 $500,000 if all funds are drawn.

City of Hiawassee

The $800,000 CWSRF loan will finance upgrading the city’s wastewater treatment equipment and expanding the capacity of the treatment plant to 0.5 million gallons-per-day. This project will allow the city to treat additional wastewater and improve water quality. The city will pay 1.63 percent interest on the 15-year loan. 

Town of Homer

The $700,000 DWSRF loan will finance rehabilitating the steel standpipe and the installation of a new well and well house to help meet system demand. This project will extend the useful life of the steel standpipe and will increase water production. The town will pay 1.63 percent on the 15-year loan. 

The $450,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance replacing manual read water meters with an automatic meter reading (AMR) system. The project will reduce water loss, enhance system reliability, and lower operation and maintenance costs. The town will pay 0.88 percent interest on the 15-year loan. The loan will finance a conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes principal forgiveness up to $90,000 if all funds are drawn.   

City of Hoschton

The $428,000 DWSRF loan will help finance the rehabilitation of the White Street well and well house and the construction of the Cabin Drive well house. The project will increase water production and storage capacity to accommodate the city’s population growth. The city will pay 1.06 percent interest on the 10-year loan.

City of Lavonia

The $3,906,000 CWSRF conservation loan will finance rehabilitating the wastewater treatment plant and replacing aging parts of the sewerage collection system. This project will create significant efficiencies throughout the collection and treatment system. The city will pay 1.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The loan will finance a conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes principal forgiveness up to $500,000 if all funds are drawn.

Madison County Industrial Development and Building Authority

The $4,700,000 DWSRF loan will finance the construction of a new elevated storage tank and booster pump station. It will also finance an interconnection to the city of Elberton’s water system. The project will expand the county’s water supply to help meet demand and to provide water supply redundancy. The authority will pay 2.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

City of Milledgeville

The $3,000,000 DWSRF loan will finance the planning, design, and permitting of a new water treatment plant. The new plant will replace the city’s two current water treatment plants. The city will pay 2.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

Mitchell County Board of Commissioners

The $1,750,000 CWSRF loan will finance the rehabilitation of components of the wastewater treatment plant and the land application system. The project will address deficiencies in the wastewater treatment system and allow it to meet compliance requirements. The county will pay 2.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which includes principal forgiveness up to $350,000 if all funds are drawn.

City of Pinehurst

The $85,000 CWSRF conservation loan will finance the rehabilitation of the effluent pumps, which are oversized and inefficient, by installing two new pumps, guide rails, and a control panel. The new pumps will reduce power consumption and annual electricity costs. The city will pay 0.65 percent interest on the 10-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because a portion of the project is a conservation activity.

City of Porterdale

The $2,514,000 CWSRF loan will finance rehabilitating and replacing sewer lines and manholes, which will improve sewer system efficiency. The city will pay 1.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which is eligible for a reduced interest rate because the city is a WaterFirst Community.

City of Richmond Hill

The $2,900,000 Georgia Fund loan will finance installing water main, sewer force main, and re-use main infrastructure. The project will improve overall water quality and distribute reuse water in other areas of the community. The city will pay 1.75 percent interest on the 20-year loan, which is eligible for a reduced interest rate because the city is a WaterFirst Community.

Towns County Water and Sewerage Authority

The $1,015,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance replacing a booster pump station and aging PVC and asbestos cement water lines. This is the final stage in the authority’s water system improvements. The project will save the authority as much as 3 million gallons of treated water per month. The authority will pay 1.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The loan will finance a conservation project, which qualifies for a reduced interest rate, and includes principal forgiveness up to $203,000 if all funds are drawn.  

Other board actions:

City of Cave Spring

The GEFA board ratified an emergency loan authorized by the GEFA executive director on February 15, 2018. The city received a $100,000 Georgia Fund loan to make emergency repairs to sewer lines. The city will pay 1.56 percent interest on the 10-year loan.

Bond Resolution

The GEFA board adopted a resolution requesting the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission (GSFIC) issue $16,000,000 in state of Georgia general obligation bonds authorized in the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) state budget.

Performance Contracting Resolution

The GEFA board adopted a resolution requesting GSFIC approve an FY2019 performance contracting value authority of $58,548,364 for projects at Augusta University, Georgia Department of Corrections, Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

FY2019 GEFA Budget

The GEFA board approved the proposed FY2019 annual operating budget.

Loan Program Policies

The GEFA board approved revised loan program policies. The revised policies add a maximum amortization period of 30 years for disadvantaged communities applying for DWSRF loans.

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.