Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner David Salyers announced a $19 million loan for the City of Chattanooga to improve water infrastructure on Monday.
The loan is one of four approved by the Tennessee Local Development Authority, with loans for the Ocoee Utility District, Hiwassee Utilities Commission-Bradley County, and the Hiwassee Utilities Commission-McMinn County totaling $22.9 million, according to a press release by TDEC.
“We are pleased to announce these loans as a way to make water infrastructure more affordable in local communities across Tennessee,” Governor Lee said in a statement. “We are glad to assist Chattanooga and look forward to the improvements that will result from this program.”
The City of Chattanooga’s loan comes from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program. The loan will address “improvements to the wastewater treatment system and infiltration and inflow correction within the sewer collection system,” according to the press release. The loan has a 20-year term at 0.88% interest.
Through the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, communities, utility districts, and water and wastewater authorities can obtain loans with lower interest rates than through private financing, according to TDEC. These low-interest-rate loans can vary from zero percent to below market rate, based on each community’s economic health.
“The State Revolving Fund Loan Program is an example of working with communities to meet important needs,” Commissioner Salyers said in a statement. “This assistance will help make vital infrastructure happen, and we are glad these loans can be made available.”
This fiscal year, TDEC has awarded $5.6 million in drinking water loans and $79.2 million in clean water loans to meet the state’s infrastructure needs, according to the department. During Fiscal Year 2021, TDEC awarded $7,171,000 in drinking water loans and $77,568,000 in clean water loans for a total of $84,739,000.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “City of Chattanooga” by Imilious. CC BY-SA 3.0.