More Than $102 Million in Water and Wastewater Construction Loans Awarded

Friday, September 22, 2017 | 1:09pm

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner Bob Martineau today announced that two communities and one board of public utilities have been approved to receive more than $102 million in low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.

“The State Revolving Fund Loan Program helps citizens enjoy a better quality of life by assisting communities with current and future infrastructure needs for improved environmental health,” Haslam said.

Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $1.9 billion in low-interest loans since its inception in 1987. Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $300 million in low-interest loans since its inception in 1996.

“Clean water is the lifeblood of our communities,” Martineau said. “Investments in our drinking water are essential to maintaining environmental and public health.”

Through the SRF Program, communities, utility districts, and water and wastewater authorities can obtain 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.

TDEC administers the SRF Program 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 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.

Two Wastewater Loans were announced today for the following recipients:

City of Franklin (Williamson County) – The City of Franklin will receive $1,500,000 for a Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements and Expansion project. The project includes expansion from 12 MGD to 16 MGD, biosolids process improvements and new basins and filters for nutrient removal as well as other upgrades. The project will be funded with a 30-year, $1,275,000 loan with an interest rate of 1.47 percent and $225,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities (Lincoln County) – Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities will receive $1,531,250 for a Water Meter Replacements project. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $306,250 loan with an interest rate of 0.81 percent and $1,225,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Three Traditional Wastewater Loans were announced today for the following recipients:

City of Franklin (Williamson County) – The City of Franklin will receive $78,500,000 for a Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements and Expansion project. The project includes expansion from 12 MGD to 16 MGD, biosolids process improvements and new basins and filters for nutrient removal as well as other upgrades. The project will be funded with a 30-year, $78,500,000 loan with an interest rate of 1.47 percent.

City of Franklin (Williamson County) – The City of Franklin will also receive $20,000,000 for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements and Expansion project described above. The project includes expansion from 12 MGD to 16 MGD, biosolids process improvements and new basins and filters for nutrient removal as well as other upgrades.  The project will be funded with a 30-year, $20,000,000 loan with an interest rate of 1.47 percent.

Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities (Lincoln County) - Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities will receive $685,200 for a Water Meter Replacements project.  The project will be funded with a 20-year, $685,200 loan with an interest rate of 0.81 percent.

A Drinking Water Loan was announced today for the following recipient:

Town of Bell Buckle (Bedford County)- Town of Bell Buckle will receive $166,000 for a Water Booster Station Replacement project.  The project will be funded with a 20-year, $132,800 loan with an interest rate of 0.17 percent and $33,200 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Any local government interested in the SRF Loans, should contact the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, Tennessee Tower, 12th Floor, 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Nashville, TN 37243, or call (615) 532-0445. Additional information about the SRF Loan Program may be found online at www.tn.gov/environment/srf.