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Communities Receive $87M for Infrastructure Improvements

Tue August 21, 2018 - Midwest Edition #17
Ohio EPA

Communities in Northwest Ohio are receiving $87 million funding from Ohio EPA for water infrastructure improvements.
Communities in Northwest Ohio are receiving $87 million funding from Ohio EPA for water infrastructure improvements.

Communities in Northwest Ohio are receiving nearly $87 million in low-interest and principal forgiveness funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between April 1 and June 30, 2018.

The lower interest rates and forgiven principal will save these communities more than $17 million. Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $374 million in loans during the second quarter of the year, including more than $22 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $83.6 million when compared to market-rate loans.

The following Northwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:

  • Lima is receiving more than $43 million for two projects: the first to build a 13-million-gal. combined sewer overflow (CSO) storage basin and to rehabilitate sections of deteriorated sewer pipe.
  • Defiance is receiving $4.3 million to eliminate combined sewers by installing new storm sewers at College Place and East High Street.
  • Van Wert, Upper Sandusky and Greenwich are receiving more than $8.3 million to address CSOs in those communities. One of these projects is a 15-million-gal. CSO retention basin in Van Wert.
  • St. Marys will build a new drinking water plant and raw water intake system with a $19 million loan. The loan includes $25,000 in principal forgiveness.
  • The Northwestern Water and Sewer District is receiving more than $1.7 million to replace water lines, lead service lines and fire hydrants.
  • Rockford is receiving $2.15 million for wastewater treatment plant improvements.
  • Milan is receiving $20,170, including $10,000 in principal forgiveness, to prepare an asset management plan for its drinking water infrastructure.
  • Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Lucas, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Marion, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams and Wyandot counties as well as the city of Shelby, are receiving a total of $3.16 million in principal forgiveness funding to help replace failing home sewage treatment systems.

Created in 1989, the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) helps communities improve their wastewater treatment systems. The Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA), started in 1998, provides loans for improvements to community drinking water systems and nonprofit, noncommunity public water systems. Both programs offer below-market interest rate loans, which can save communities a substantial amount of money compared to market-rate loans.

Ohio EPA's state revolving fund (SRF) loans are provided to communities to build and upgrade wastewater and drinking water infrastructure, upgrade home sewage treatment systems, better manage storm water, address combined sewer overflows and implement other water quality-related projects. Financial assistance helps support planning, design and construction activities and enhances the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems. WPCLF loans also make possible the restoration and protection of some of Ohio's highest quality water bodies through the fund's Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program.

Ohio's SRF loan programs are partially supported by annual federal capitalization grants and have grown substantially over time because of the revolving nature of the loan issuance and payments back into the fund. The SRF programs are managed by Ohio EPA's Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance, with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority. Ohio EPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental and other technical reviews/approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the SRF funds.

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