More Than $203 Million In Water And Wastewater Construction Loans Awarded

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau Wednesday announced that 11 communities, including Chattanooga and Cleveland, have been approved to receive more than $203 million in low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.  The announcement represents the largest amount in State Revolving Fund Loans granted in state history. 

“I am pleased to see local governments using this important program to help address critical drinking water and wastewater needs, making infrastructure improvements that will benefit the health of these communities and economic growth,” Governor 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 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 the 2010 EPA grant funds include more than 20 percent principal forgiveness for water and wastewater projects, 2011 EPA grant funds include 30 percent principal forgiveness for water and 10 percent principal forgiveness for wastewater projects, and 2012 EPA grant funds include 20 percent principal forgiveness for water and wastewater projects.

“The State Revolving Fund Loan Program is a community investment to help maintain environmental and public health, while keeping local communities moving forward as they prepare for future needs,” Commissioner 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.

Wastewater loans were announced today for the following recipients: 

City of Cleveland (Bradley County) – The city of Cleveland will receive $1.82 million for a project that includes sewer system rehabilitation.  The project will be funded with a 20-year, $1.38 million loan with an interest rate of 1.15 percent and $451,022 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (Hamilton County) – The Hamilton County WWTA will receive $4 million for a green project that includes sewer system rehabilitation. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $3.6 million loan with an interest rate of 1.10 percent and $400,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.      

City of Oak Ridge (Anderson and Roane Counties) – The city of Oak Ridge will receive $4 million for a project that includes sewer system rehabilitation and the construction of three equalization basins. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $3.6 million loan with an interest rate of 1.15 percent and $400,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

City of White House (Robertson and Sumner Counties) – The city of White House will receive $2 million for a green project that includes wastewater treatment improvements.  The project will be funded with a 20-year, $1.6 million loan with an interest rate of 0.75 percent and $400,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Drinking water loans were announced today for the following recipients:

Big Creek Utility District (Grundy, Sequatchie and Marion Counties) – Big Creek Utility District will receive $2.42 million for a project that includes a new 1 million-gallon capacity water storage tank, replacing three tanks; and for the replacement of water lines. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $1.93 million loan with an interest rate of 0 percent and $484,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid. 

Cumberland Utility District (Roane and Morgan Counties) – Cumberland Utility District will receive $2.5 million for a green project that includes water line replacement in the Woods Chapel and Coalfield communities. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $1.75 million loan with an interest rate of 0 percent and $750,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

City of Elizabethton (Carter County) – The city of Elizabethton will receive $0.65 million for a green project that includes a water-loss reduction program and replacement of water lines in the Eastside community. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $455,000 loan with an interest rate of 0.77 percent and $195,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid. 

Minor Hill Utility District (Giles County) – The Minor Hill Utility District will receive $1.1 million for a green project that includes water line replacement along Bethel Road and Minor Hill Highway. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $880,000 loan with an interest rate of 0.56 percent and $220,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Traditional wastewater loans were announced today for the following recipients: 

City of Chattanooga (Hamilton County) – The city of Chattanooga will receive a $33.1 million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1.15 percent for a project that includes wastewater treatment plant improvements and collection system rehabilitation in the East Brainerd Sewer Basin.  

City of Cleveland (Bradley County) – The city of Cleveland will also receive an $8.17 million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1.15 percent for a project that includes sewer system rehabilitation in the Wildwood Avenue and 9th Street Drainage Basin area.  

City of Memphis (Shelby County) – The city of Memphis will receive a $22 Million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 0.75 percent for a project that includes waste water treatment improvements to Lagoon No. 5 at the T.E. Maxson Wastewater Treatment Plant and modifications to the outfall structure at the M.C. Stiles Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

City of Memphis (Shelby County) – The city of Memphis will also receive a $100 Million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 0.75 percent for a project that includes sewer system rehabilitation.

City of Morristown (Jefferson and Hamblen Counties) – The city of Morristown will receive a $5 Million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1.51 percent for a project that includes wastewater treatment plant improvements.

City of Oak Ridge (Anderson and Roane Counties) – The city of Oak Ridge will receive a $14 Million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1.15 percent for a project that includes sewer system rehabilitation and construction of three equalization basins. 

A traditional drinking water loan was announced today for the following recipient:

Cumberland Utility District (Roane and Morgan Counties) – Cumberland Utility District will also receive a $3 million, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 0 percent for a project that includes waterline replacements in the Woods Chapel and Coalfield communities.  

Since its inception in 1987, Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded nearly $1.5 billion in low-interest loans. Since its inception in 1996, Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $216 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.

Any local government interested in the SRF Loan Program should contact the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, L&C Tower, 8th Floor, 401 Church Street, 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.


Clint Powell: I Can Do That Myself!

Asking tough questions is sometimes…well…tough! That just makes sense right? However, knowing that tough questions are tough to ask…doesn’t mean they are still not…well...tough! Shoot…I did it again. Captain Obvious on the job. Well, what kind of tough questions are we talking about? There are quite a few I could spend time on. ‘How old are you?’ – ‘How much do you weigh?’ – ‘Is ... (click for more)

Walker County Chamber Calendar Of Events

Here is the upcoming calendar of events for the Walker County: Ambassadors Committee Meeting Wednesday, Aug. 6 Young Professionals Council After Hours Wednesday, Aug. 13 Executive Board of Directors Meeting Thursday, Aug. 14 General Board of Directors Meeting Thursday, Aug. 21   (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $8 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Our’ American Minute

William J. Federer is one of the leading historians in the United States and every morning I am among thousands of people who get an entertaining email from him called the “American Minute.” I adore it because Bill takes a significant event in American history that happened long ago – but he remembers on the very anniversary of when it occurred. A great example is that last Thursday ... (click for more)