August Newsline: Senate panel cuts EPA budget, update on sewer debt crisis

August 2009 Vol. 64 No. 8
David Haynes

The Ohio EPA is funneling stimulus money to communities to fix overflow problems, with Hamilton slated to receive $1.8 million, which will cover upgrades at one overflow site. Only 222 projects are receiving funding out of 2,100 requests across the state. There are only $220 million in stimulus funds available while the requests totaled $5.4 billion.

Georgia gets approval for water, sewer projects

Governor Sonny Perdue for the state of Georgia has given approval of 11 state and federally funded environmental infrastructure projects totaling $91.5 million. Of the 11 projects, five are at least partially backed by $40.5 million in federal stimulus money.

The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) board of directors approved the
commitments to help finance water and sewer infrastructure projects in Cobb County, Colquitt County and Gwinnett County, and the cities of Camilla, Hiawassee, Port Wentworth, Portal, Sparta, Stillmore, Valdosta and West Point.

GEFA has $144 million in federal money, including about $121 million in stimulus funds to use on projects in 2009.

GEFA set up rural and non-rural funding streams to administer stimulus money. Rural projects receive a 70 percent subsidy, and non-rural, or basically metro-area projects, receive a 40 percent subsidy. Green projects receive 60 percent subsidy.

Details of some approved loans are:

  • Cobb County will receive a $35 million loan, $10 million of which is from federal stimulus money, to pay for building a 30,000-foot sewer tunnel as well as a lift station at the South Cobb Water Reclamation Facility. Once complete, the lift station will move 130 million gallons of water a day.
  • Gwinnett County’s project, a $55 million sewer tunnel that will store and convey wastewater for the No Business Creek Regional Pump Station, is also backed by stimulus money.
  • The city of Sparta will receive $100,000 for improvements to the city’s sanitary sewer system including manhole and sewer line replacement.
  • A Georgia fund loan of $236,000 will help finance and total project cost of $736,000 for the city’s sanitary sewer system. The rest will be picked up by a grant from the Georgian Department of Community Affairs.

For more details on other cities and counties receiving loans, visit www.gefa.org or call (404) 584-1000.

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