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MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss
Muskingum County Extending Water Service with Financing from Ohio EPA
Muskingum County is extending public drinking water service to 124 residences and businesses in two rural areas in the county. The projects were financed with interest-free loans from Ohio EPA.
The larger project will construct 66,000 feet of water lines and a 93-foot tall water tank in the Rix Mills area of east-central Muskingum County. This will provide a reliable public water supply to 83 residences and businesses. Total cost of the project is $2.93 million. Of that, $1.86 million does not have to be repaid. The remaining $1.07 million is loaned interest-free.
The second project will construct 22,000 feet of water lines along Barkers Run, Lewistown and Baughman roads northwest of Zanesville, providing water to 41 residences and businesses. The project will cost $577,000, with $413,00 of the principal forgiven and the rest loaned interest free.
Created in 1998, the Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA) provides below-market interest rate loans for compliance-related improvements for community water systems and nonprofit, non-community public water systems. With the principal forgiveness and interest-free financing, the county will save an estimated $4.26 million when compared to a market rate loan.
Projects eligible for WSRLA funding include design and construction loans for new, replaced, rehabilitated, upgraded or expanded water treatment plants and their components. In addition, the WSRLA can provide technical assistance to public drinking water systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems.
Ohio EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds. The WSRLA is managed by Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental and other technical reviews or approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the fund.
More information about the WSRLA is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.