Georgia Commits Millions toward Infrastructure

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority's (GEFA) Board of Directors approved loans and grants totaling more than $18 million to help finance water and sewer infrastructure projects for the Madison County Industrial Development & Building Authority, Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority, and the cities of Cornelia, Millen, Statham, and West Point.

Perdue recommended and the General Assembly approved Amended FY2008 and FY2009 budget appropriations of $120 million for water infrastructure and reservoir development.

"The projects that we agreed to finance today show how GEFA helps communities of all sizes, in all areas of the state," said J.C. Warren, GEFA board of directors' chair and a member of the Screven County board of commissioners. "From the smallest of communities to the largest, GEFA is investing in communities that are willing to invest in themselves."

GEFA helps communities prepare for economic growth and development through the provision of low-interest loans and grants. The Georgia Fund is a state-funded loan program administered by GEFA for water, wastewater, and solid waste infrastructure projects. The loan program has maximum flexibility and accessibility, providing fast loan approvals. The Georgia Fund finances loans to local governments for projects such as water and sewer lines, treatment plants, pumping stations, wells, water storage tanks, and water meters. Low-interest loans from this program range from $20,000 to $50 million.

The drinking water and clean water state revolving funds are federal loan programs administered by GEFA for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects, respectively. Eligible projects include a wide variety of public health-related water supply, wastewater collection, and treatment projects.

The city of Cornelia was approved for a Georgia Fund sewer grant of $100,000 to help finance a sewer extension to residents who are currently on septic tanks. Sixty homes in the area will be able to discontinue the use of septic tanks. The total project cost is $1,215,071 with GEFA providing $100,000 in a sewer grant, the Department of Community Affairs providing $500,000 in a Community Development Block Grant, and the city providing $615,071 in local funds.

The city of Millen was approved for a Georgia Fund sewer grant of $99,623 to help finance a sewer extension to residents who are currently on septic tanks. Eighteen homes in the area will be able to discontinue the use of septic tanks. GEFA is financing the entire estimated cost of $99,623.

The city of Statham was approved for a Georgia Fund sewer grant of $100,000 to help finance a sewer extension to residents who are currently on septic tanks. One hundred fifty-three homes in the area will be able to discontinue the use of septic tanks. The total project cost is $3,036,273, with GEFA providing $2,790,000 in a previously approved Georgia Fund Loan and the city providing $146,273 in local funds.

The city of West Point was approved for a Georgia Fund loan of $2,450,300 to help finance the construction of water and sewer lines to support economic development in the city. The city will pay 4.1 percent interest on the 20-year loan. The total cost is $3,950,300 with two OneGeorgia grants totaling $1,500,000 providing the balance.

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