Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Governor Announces $31.4 Million in Loans and Grants to Finance Water and Sewer System Infrastructure Improvements

Governor Sonny Perdue’s announced today (June 17, 2008) the approval of two Georgia Fund commitments totaling $8,402,836, and one Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) commitment of $23 million. The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority’s (GEFA) Executive Committee approved the loans and grant to help finance water and sewer infrastructure projects for Gwinnett County and the cities of Bainbridge and Gibson.

“Infrastructure improvements increase the quality of life for Georgia citizens, and they help cities and counties create jobs and promote economic development,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “I’m pleased these investments are being made in water and sewer infrastructure.”

“GEFA’s programs are a tangible commitment by Governor Perdue and the General Assembly to assist local governments across the state with their efforts to provide clean water and sewer improvements,” said Chris Clark. “In addition to the public’s health and safety, these projects are critical to a community’s ability to prosper economically.”

Clark expressed appreciation to Governor Perdue and the Georgia General Assembly for their support. He credited Governor Perdue’s commitment to helping Georgia cities and counties finance infrastructure development as one of the main contributors to GEFA’s success. Governor Perdue recommended and the General Assembly approved Amended FY2008 and FY2009 budget appropriations of $120 million for water infrastructure and reservoir development.

“The projects that we agreed to finance today illustrate how GEFA helps communities of all sizes, in all areas of the state,” said J.C. Warren, chairman of the GEFA board of directors and a member of the Screven County board of commissioners. “From the smallest of communities to the largest, GEFA is investing in communities that are willing to invest in themselves.”

GEFA helps communities prepare for economic growth and development through the provision of low interest loans and grants. The Georgia Fund is a state funded loan program administered by GEFA for water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure projects. The loan program has maximum flexibility and accessibility, providing fast loan approvals. The Georgia Fund finances loans to local governments for projects such as water and sewer lines, treatment plants, pumping stations, wells, water storage tanks and water meters. Low interest loans from this program range from $20,000 to $50 million.

The CWSRF is a federal loan program administered by GEFA for wastewater infrastructure projects. Eligible projects include a wide variety of wastewater collection and treatment projects.

Details of the loans and grants approved today are below:

Gwinnett County

Gwinnett County was approved for a CWSRF loan of $23,000,000 to help finance the construction of a sewer tunnel to store and convey wastewater from the Jacks Creek, No Business Creek, Big Haynes Creek, and Brushy Fork Creek service areas to the site of the future No Business Creek Regional Pump Station. The project will improve water quality and more efficiently and economically treat wastewater. The loan approved today is for the second of three phases of the project. GEFA approved a loan of $22,000,000 for the first phase of the project on September 29, 2005. Gwinnett County will pay three percent interest on the 20-year loan. GEFA is financing the entire estimated cost of the $54,000,000 project.

City of Gibson

The city of Gibson was approved for a Georgia Fund grant of $100,000 to help finance repairs at the city’s water pollution control plant. The total project cost is $333,000, with GEFA providing a $100,000 Georgia Fund grant and a $170,000 Georgia Fund loan, the Department of Community Affairs providing a $50,000 Immediate Threat and Danger grant, and the city providing $13,000.

City of Bainbridge

The city of Bainbridge was approved for a Georgia Fund loan of $8,302,836 to help finance water and sewer system infrastructure projects, including sewer line extensions and the conversion of 5,000 residential water meters to an automated meter reading system. The city will pay 4.27 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The total cost is $15,952,753 with GEFA providing the entire amount in two phases.

Cities and counties interested in more information regarding GEFA loans and grants should visit or call (404) 584-1000.

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