Georgia communities receive infrastructure loans totaling $54.2 million

January 28, 2019

Loan commitments include water and energy conservation projects

Eleven Georgia communities were awarded financing totaling $54,160,000 for water, wastewater, and solid waste infrastructure improvements by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) board of directors.

Approved loans:

  • Atlanta awarded a $12,851,000 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) loan
  • Baldwin County awarded a $2,500,000 Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) conservation loan
  • Ellaville awarded a $500,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Hapeville awarded a $1,535,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Hazlehurst awarded a $4,337,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Heard County Water Authority awarded a $2,500,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Hiawassee awarded a $2,150,000 DWSRF loan
  • Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority awarded a $25,000,000 CWSRF loan
  • Thomson awarded a $1,194,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Waleska awarded a $1,080,000 DWSRF conservation loan
  • Warren County awarded a $513,000 CWSRF loan

Project and loan details:

City of Atlanta

The $12,851,000 CWSRF loan will finance the rehabilitation of the East Area Water Quality Facility. This project will improve the reliability and efficiency of the facility and will ensure compliance with water quality standards. The city will pay 2.25 percent on the 20-year loan.

Baldwin County

The $2,500,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance replacing manual-read water meters with an automatic meter reading (AMR) system. The project will reduce water loss and increase billing accuracy and meter reading efficiency. The county 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. The county is eligible for principal forgiveness up to $500,000.

City of Ellaville

The $500,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance the construction of a well, the rehabilitation of an existing well, and the installation of water mains. The city lacks its own source of drinking water and is relying on a neighboring water system. This project will create a reliable water source for the city, reduce water loss, and address potential health hazards. The city will pay 1.84 percent interest rate on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because a portion of the project is a conservation activity. The city is eligible for principal forgiveness up to $100,000.

City of Hapeville

The $1,535,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance the installation of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system. The city’s existing manual-read water meters lack leak detection and real-time consumption data. This project will reduce water loss, enhance system reliability, and lower operation and maintenance costs. 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.

City of Hazlehurst    

The $4,337,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance the installation of an elevated storage tank, groundwater well, and water lines. This project will increase the city’s water supply and replace aging infrastructure to ensure a more reliable water distribution system. The city will pay 1.94 percent on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because a portion of the project is a conservation activity. The city is eligible for principal forgiveness up to $460,000.

Heard County Water Authority

The $2,500,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance the rehabilitation of the Heard County Water Treatment Facility. Due to population growth, the facility is unable to meet demand and portions of the plant have reached the end of their useful life. This project will improve water and energy efficiency and will bring more reliable service to water customers. The authority will pay 1.33 percent interest rate on the 20-year loan. The loan qualifies for a reduced interest rate because a portion of the project is a conservation activity. The authority is eligible for principal forgiveness up to $500,0000. 

City of Hiawassee

The $2,150,000 DWSRF loan will finance increasing the filter unit capacity and adding an additional clearwell at the water treatment facility. During peak demand, the facility’s two filters are utilized with no backup filter for redundancy. This project will ensure an adequate water supply to its customers. The city will pay 1.75 percent on the 20-year loan, which is eligible for a reduced interest rate because the city is a PlanFirst community. The city is eligible for principal forgiveness up to $430,000.

Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority

The $25,000,000 CWSRF loan will help finance the construction of the Little River Water Reclamation Facility and access road, conversion of existing forcemain to gravity sewer main, and the installation of sewer main. The project will provide infrastructure and treatment capacity to facilitate job creation and commercial development. The authority will pay 1.93 percent interest on the 30-year loan, which is eligible for a reduced interest rate because Newton County is a WaterFirst Community.

City of Thomson

The $1,194,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance purchasing advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). The city’s current water meters are nearing the end of their useful life resulting in 131 million gallons of water loss and inaccurate readings. The project will increase billing accuracy and meter reading efficiency. 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. The city is eligible for principal forgiveness up to $238,800.

City of Waleska

The $1,080,000 DWSRF conservation loan will finance replacing water lines, hydrants, valves, and pipes. In recent years, the project area has experienced recurring water main failures. This project will provide a more reliable source of water to the customers in the area. 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. 

Warren County

The $513,000 CWSRF loan will finance the abandonment of a treatment pond and the construction of an interceptor sewer, force main, and pump station. The project will divert the county’s wastewater to a permitted wastewater treatment plant. The county will pay 2.25 percent interest on the 20-year loan.

Other board actions:

City of Hinesville

The GEFA board approved a scope modification to a $22,400,000 Georgia Fund loan originally approved in March 2014.

Paulding County

The GEFA board approved a $1,800,000 increase to a $8,206,250 Georgia Reservoir Fund loan originally approved in January 2016.

Town of Resaca

The GEFA board approved a $915,000 increase to a $674,000 Georgia Fund loan originally approved in January 2017.

City of Richland

The GEFA board approved extending the maturity dates on the city’s three GEFA loans to 40 years.

City of Royston

The GEFA board approved a $396,000 increase to a $2,000,000 CWSRF loan originally approved in August 2017.

Town of Trion

The GEFA board approved a $1,200,000 increase to a $4,300,000 CWSRF loan originally approved in January 2018.

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. 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 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. The program is jointly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Georgia. 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 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.