ATLANTA - The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) and Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) have awarded $90.4 million in loans and $9 million state direct investment (SDI) for eight water supply projects through the Governor's Water Supply Program (GWSP).
The Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority and The city of Cornelia are on the list of beneficiaries. (See below.)
"The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Water Supply Task Force worked hard to develop a plan that helps local governments finance water supply infrastructure," said GEFA Executive Director Kevin Clark. "Today we're making our initial funding awards and we look forward to supporting more projects in the near future."
In January 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal directed GEFA to develop and launch the GWSP and committed $300 million to the program over four years. The purpose of the GWSP is to align and mobilize the resources of the state of Georgia to assist local governments with developing new sources of water supply adequate to meet future water demand forecasts. GEFA convened the Water Supply Task Force (WSTF) that provided expert guidance in the program's development and implementation.
GEFA worked with DCA and other WSTF members to develop the report provided to the governor in December 2011, which outlined recommendations for the program. GEFA and DCA also held workshops designed to assist communities seeking funding through the program.
GEFA received 15 applications from communities seeking $195,595,758 in funding for their water supply projects. Local governments will be invited again to apply in the second and third rounds of GWSP applications, which are scheduled to begin in January 2013 and January 2014, pending appropriations.
"Georgia has proactively sought solutions to the water supply issue, including developing new water sources and promoting water conservation," said Clark. "By ensuring adequate supply through both new water sources and conservation, Georgia's water needs can be met."
In addition to water supply projects, GEFA's loan programs can finance a variety of water and wastewater infrastructure, including water conservation projects.
Below are details of the loans and SDI approved today:
City of Cornelia
The city of Cornelia was approved for a 30-year loan of $6,849,089 to finance enhancing its existing reservoir, including sediment removal, dam repair and constructing off-stream storage. The proposed off-stream storage will replace the yield lost while completing the dam repair and sediment removal. The total cost is $6,849,089. Cornelia will pay zero percent interest until construction is complete or for three years, whichever comes first. The city will then pay 1.5 percent for any remaining construction (after three years) and during the repayment period once construction is complete. The city will not be charged a closing fee.
City of Hahira
The city of Hahira was approved for a 20-year loan of $431,777 to construct a new water supply well and the associated treatment equipment. The new well adds 0.2434 million gallons per day (MGD) of water supply and will allow the city to maximize the storage capacity of its existing elevated storage tanks to better address future demand and increase system reliability. The total cost is $479,752, with the city contributing $47,975 in funds. Hahira will pay zero percent interest during project construction, and then 1 percent during the repayment period once construction is complete. The city will not be charged a closing fee.
City of Vienna
The city of Vienna was approved for a 20-year loan of $1,110,000 to construct a new water supply well, the associated treatment facility and elevated water tower. This new well will replace the city's oldest well and provide needed above-ground storage to protect the city's water supply during drought. The total cost is $1,110,000. Vienna will pay zero percent interest during construction, and then 1 percent interest during the repayment period once construction is complete. The city will not be charged a closing fee.
Newton County was approved for a 40-year loan of $21,000,000 to construct a 1,242-acre pumped-storage reservoir on Bear Creek in Newton County, with a water intake on the Alcovy River used to fill the reservoir. The county is designing the reservoir with a projected yield of 28 MGD. The total cost is $62,685,831. Newton County will pay zero percent interest for the first three years of construction; 1 percent for the remainder of construction, accrued and capitalized; and 1.82 percent during the repayment period once construction is complete. Additionally, the county will make interest only payments the first seven years of the loan and will pay principal and interest thereafter. The county will not be charged a closing fee.
Oconee and Walton Counties
Oconee and Walton Counties were approved for two 40-year loans