More Than $15.1 Million In Water And Wastewater Construction Loans Awarded

Low-Interest Loans Help Fund Infrastructure Improvements

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau Wednesday announced that five communities, two utility districts and two water/wastewater authorities have been approved to receive more than $15.1 million in low-interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.  Hamilton County WWTA received a $6 million loan. 

“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 foster 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 EPA grant funds include a principal forgiveness component 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 Wednesday for the following recipients:

Anderson County Water Authority (Union County) - The Anderson County Water Authority will receive $3,512,571 for the project that includes installation of six sanitary sewer pumping stations and approximately 74,000 linear feet of eight-inch diameter force main. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $2,810,057 loan with an interest rate of 0.70 percent and $702,514 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid. 

City of Pegram (Cheatham County) - The city of Pegram will receive $449,000 for a project that includes wastewater treatment plant and land application improvements. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $426,550 loan with an interest rate of 0.95 percent and $22,450 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Drinking Water Loans were announced today for the following recipients:

Town of Halls (Lauderdale County) - The town of Halls will receive $723,258 for a project that includes Green-Water meter replacement. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $578,606 loan with an interest rate of 0.64 percent and $144,652 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid. 

City of Livingston (Overton County) - The city of Livingston will receive $800,000 for a project that includes water treatment improvements. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $520,000 loan with an interest rate of 1.64 percent and $280,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

City of Jellico (Campbell County) - The city of Jellico will receive $750,000 for a project that includes Green-Water line installation. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $600,000 loan with an interest rate of 0.23 percent and $150,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Poplar Grove Utility District (Tipton County) - The Poplar Grove UD will receive $800,000 for a project that includes Green-Water meter replacement and WTP improvements. The project will be funded with a five-year, $520,000 loan with an interest rate of 0.0 percent and $280,000 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid. 

25 Utility District (Smith County) - The 25 UD will receive $522,390 for a project that includes water distribution system improvements. The project will be funded with a 20-year, $417,912 loan with an interest rate of 0.91 percent and $104,478 in principal forgiveness that will not have to be repaid.

Traditional Wastewater Loans were announced Wednesday for the following recipients:

Hamilton County WWTA (Hamilton County) - The Hamilton County WWTA will receive $6 million for a project that includes infiltration and inflow corrections. The project will be funded with a 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1.86 percent. 

Union City (Obion County) - Union City will receive an increase of $1.4 million to an existing $1.75 million, 20-year loan which brings the total to $3.15 million with an interest rate of 1.17 percent for a project that includes wastewater treatment plant improvements.

A Traditional Drinking Water Loan was announced Wednesday for the following recipient:

City of Livingston (Overton County) - The city of Livingston will receive a $200,000, 20-year loan with an interest rate of 1.64 percent for water treatment improvements. 

Since its inception in 1987, Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $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 $220 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 Loans should contact the State Revolving Loan Fund 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

http://www.tn.gov/environment/water/fund.shtml.  

Perdue Sees Dangerous Fiscal Trend Continue

Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) update to The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2016 to 2026. “Reading these CBO economic outlook reports remind me of the movie  Groundhog Day . Each new report paints the same alarming picture for our fiscal future, ... (click for more)

Supreme Court Upholds Denial Of Pretrial Diversion Applications

The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the denial of pretrial diversion in two cases, which were consolidated for oral argument. In these appeals, the Supreme Court reiterated the process district attorneys general, trial courts, and appellate courts must follow when reviewing a prosecutor’s denial of pretrial diversion.  In one appeal, Susan Gail Stephens was indicted for ... (click for more)

Federal Judge Orders Walker County To Pay Erlanger $8,705,000, Plus Interest; Question Of Attorney Fees And Expenses To Go To Jury

Federal Judge Harold Murphy, in a 63-page ruling handed down Tuesday, ordered Walker County, Ga., to pay the Erlanger Health System $8,705,000, plus interest, on the Hutcheson Hospital debt. Judge Murphy, of Rome, Ga., said the question of attorney fees and expenses owed Erlanger by Walker County should be decided by a jury trial. Walker County and Catoosa County earlier agreed ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Problems With The Proposed Apartments In Lookout Valley

I am deeply troubled at the way in which this proposal has been handled. The blatant disregard for the residents of Kelly's Ferry Road and the wishes of the Lookout Valley Area Plan (which was adopted by the city in 2003) by Chip Henderson and Tommy Austin amazes me. Yes, there was a meeting of the Lookout Valley Neighborhood association in August, but it wasn't on its normal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ooltewah & The Bullies

During the week of Christmas I got an email from a longtime friend at the Knoxville News-Sentinel that laughingly wondered what kind of basketball do you people play (in Chattanooga?) It included sketchy details of the rape, and subsequent surgery, of an Ooltewah High School basketball player who had been assaulted by his own teammates at a Gatlinburg holiday tournament. Today ... (click for more)