The DeKalb Utility District, which services Cannon, Smith and Wilson counties, will receive a $2.75 million loan for an upcoming project.
The project includes new water intake, a raw water transmission line, water treatment plant and finished water transmission and extension lines for distribution to the existing system project. The project will be funded with a 20-year $2 million loan with an interest rate of 0.6 percent.
Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced recently one community and one utility district were approved to receive more than $8.2 million in low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.
“It’s great to see local governments using this important program to help address critical drinking water and wastewater needs. Making these infrastructure improvements will benefit the health of these communities and economic growth,” Haslam said.
The State Revolving Fund loan program provides low-interest loans that help communities, utility districts and water and wastewater authorities finance projects that protect Tennessee’s ground and surface waters and public health. Loans are used to finance the planning, design and construction of water and wastewater facilities.
Through the SRF program, communities, utility districts and water and wastewater authorities can get loans with lower interest rates than most can obtain through private financing. Interest rates for loans can vary from zero percent to market rate based on each community’s economic index. Loans utilizing EPA grant funds can include a principal forgiveness component for water and wastewater projects.
“The state Revolving Fund Loan program is a community investment to improve environmental and public health, while helping local communities move forward to prepare for future needs,” Martineau said.
The Department of Environment and Conservation administers the SRF loan program for the state of Tennessee in conjunction with the Tennessee Local Development Authority. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides grants to fund the program, and the state provides a 20-percent match. Loan repayments are returned to the program and are used to fund future SRF loans.
The funding order of projects is determined by the SRF loan program’s priority ranking lists that rank potential projects according to the severity of their pollution and/or compliance problems or for the protection of public health.
In addition to the DeKalb Utility District loan, the city of Oak Ridge will receive $3 million for a project that includes engineering and inspection fees for the Turtle Park 1 and equalization basins projects and construction for the Turtle Park 1 and West End 1 projects. The project will be funded for 20 years, with an interest rate of 1.73 percent.
Since its inception in 1987, Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program awarded more than $1.5 billion in low-interest loans. Since its inception in 1996, Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program awarded more than $223 million in low-interest loans. Both programs combined award more than $80 million annually to Tennessee’s local governments for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
More information about the SRF loan program may be found online at tn.gov/environment/srf.