Tennessee communities get $66.8m in drinking, wastewater loans

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers announced that five communities will receive $66.8 million (SGD 90.5 million) in low-interest loans for clean water and drinking water infrastructure improvements.

The loans announced are for the City of Chattanooga, the City of Cleveland, the City of Humboldt, the City of Memphis, and the City of Springfield.

“I’m pleased to see our communities are getting the help they need for infrastructure development,” Lee said.

Tennessee’s Revolving Fund Loan Programme maintains priority ranking lists for both the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Over $90 million (SGD 121.9 million) is loaned annually to cities, utility districts, and energy or water/waste water authorities, with projects appearing on the priority ranking lists for planning, design, and construction of eligible water and wastewater projects.

“These programs help communities make updates they need in infrastructure, and we are glad we can assist in this way,” said Salyers. “Abundant, clean water is important to quality of life in Tennessee, and this programme is an excellent way to make such improvements affordable.”

Through the State Revolving Fund Programme, 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 can also include a principal forgiveness component.

Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Programme has awarded more than $2 billion (SGD 2.7 billion) in low-interest loans since its inception in 1987. Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Programme has awarded more than $300 million (SGD 406 million) in low-interest loans since its inception in 1996.

The Department of Environment and Conservation administers the State Revolving Fund Programme in conjunction with the Tennessee Local Development Authority. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides grants to fund the programme, and the state provides a 20 per cent match. Loan repayments are returned to the programme and are used to fund future SRF loans.

Clean water loans have been awarded to the City of Chattanooga (Hamilton County), City of Cleveland (Bradley County), City of Humboldt (Gibson County), City of Memphis (Shelby County), and City of Springfield (Robertson County).

Drinking water loans were awarded to the City of Humboldt (Gibson County).