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Southwest Ohio Communities Receive $2 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA for Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvements
Communities in Southwest Ohio are receiving more than $2 million in low-interest and principal forgiveness funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018.
The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $1.5 million. Statewi de, Ohio EPA awarded approximately $188 million in loans for 58 projects during the fourth quarter of the year, including more than $10 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $37 million when compared to market-rate loans.
Ohio EPA provided approximately $795 million for public works projects throughout 2018. More than $25 million was awarded to southwest Ohio communities in 2018. The projects are improving Ohio’s surface water quality and the reliability and quality of Ohio drinking water systems.
For the fourth quarter 2018, the following Southwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Wilmington is receiving three planning loans totaling $65,877 to plan improvements to the city’s drinking water system. The largest of the loans, $35,472, is to review the feasibility of switching from a chlorine gas to a sodium hypochlorite disinfection process. The other two loans are for reviewing options for improving water treatment plant security and improving the bulk water station, and for a water plant capacity investigation.
- West Alexandria is receiving a $1.55 million loan to build a new, upgraded wastewater treatment plant. The entire amount of the loan is principal forgiveness, meaning the loan does not have to be repaid.
- Georgetown is receiving $382,000 to replace water mains in downtown, connect key areas in the north service area and link undersized water mains with proposed 8-inch mains to improve water flow and pressure.
- Bellefontaine is receiving a $10,000 loan to develop an asset management plan for the city’s drinking water system. All $10,000 of the loan is principal forgiveness.
Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) helps communities improve their wastewater treatment systems. The Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), started in 1998, provides loans for improvements to community drinking water systems and nonprofit, noncommunity public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to market-rate loans.
Ohio EPA’s state revolving fund (SRF) loans are provided to communities to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, upgrade home sewage treatment systems, better manage storm water, address combined sewer overflows and implement other water quality-related projects. Financial assistance helps support planning, design and construction activities and enhances the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans also make possible the restoration and protection of some of Ohio’s highest quality water bodies through the fund’s Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.
Ohio’s SRF loan programs are partially supported by annual federal capitalization grants and have grown substantially over time because of the revolving nature of the loan issuance and payments back into the fund. The SRF programs are 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/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the SRF funds.
More information about the SRF loan program is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.