Governor George E. Pataki today announced more than $132 million in low-interest, long-term loans to 26 communities throughout New York State for projects that prevent water pollution and protect local drinking water supplies. The loans are provided through the New York State Revolving Funds (SRF), regarded as a leader among the nation's SRF Programs.
One significant project is right in Cortland County, Senator James L. Seward said.
"We have made unprecedented progress in protecting and enhancing our precious water resources in communities throughout New York State," said Governor Pataki. "With these low-interest rate loans, we are partnering with communities to ensure that their residents and future generations have clean, safe water."
"This is good news for Cortlandville and other communities just like it," Senator James L. Seward said. "The state assistance provides support for an important environmental program and reduces pressure on local funding."
The low-interest, long-term financing announced today includes 22 projects funded through the Clean Water SRF and four projects funded through the Drinking Water SRF. Borrowers of Clean Water SRF loans receive an effective interest rate of 1.94% percent, and Drinking Water SRF financing recipients receive an effective interest rate of 2.59% percent.
This financing is made from the proceeds of bonds issued by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) on behalf of its borrowers. These bonds are not obligations of the State of New York. By issuing bonds and leveraging its capital, EFC is able to provide two to three times more capital for water, sewer and water quality protection projects. The corporation's bonds are rated triple-A by all three major rating agencies, thus enabling the corporation to obtain much lower interest rates than if borrowers sold their own bonds. Most of the funding recipients announced today previously received interest-free, short-term SRF loans, which are being converted into the long-term SRF financing.
EFC President Thomas J. Kelly said, "The SRF financing announced today for these important drinking water and sewer projects underscores Governor Pataki’s firm commitment to building quality communities. The Governor’s ongoing support for programs like the SRF enables communities to undertake these projects at an affordable cost for their residents."
DEC Acting Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said, "Governor Pataki is committed to helping local communities protect New York's pristine natural resources. By providing these low-interest loans, these communities can move forward with important water projects."
State Health Commissioner Dr. Antonia C. Novello said, "Governor Pataki's support for these critical drinking water projects enables New Yorkers to continue to have the safest drinking water in the country."
The Clean Water SRF, administered by EFC and the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), offers short-term interest-free loans and long-term reduced interest rate financing for eligible water pollution prevention projects. Long-term loans are issued by EFC at a subsidized interest rate of one-half the prevailing interest rate. Since the program’s inception in 1989, the state has provided communities with more than $11.2 billion in Clean Water SRF financing for 1248 projects that prevent water pollution.
The Drinking Water SRF, administered by EFC and the State Department of Health, offers grants, and short-term interest free and long-term low-interest rate loans to public water suppliers for eligible drinking water infrastructure projects. Long-term loans are issued by EFC at a subsidized interest rate that is generally one-third of the prevailing interest rate. Since its formation in 1996, New York's Drinking Water SRF has provided more than $1.48 billion in grants and reduced interest rate financing for 473 drinking water improvement projects throughout New York State.
Following is a listing of funding recipients and project descriptions:
CLEAN WATER SRF FINANCINGS
Village of Cayuga Heights, Tompkins County Loan Amount: $283,360
Financing for sewage treatment plant improvements to reduce phosphorus discharges and enhance the water quality of Cayuga Lake. Project completion expected in July 2005.
Town of Cortlandville, Cortland County Loan Amount: $2,264,274
Financing for construction of collection sewers to serve the Highland Road area to address failing septic systems and protect groundwater. Project completion expected in August 2005.
City of Ithaca, Tompkins County Loan Amount: $2,411,325
Financing for sewage treatment plant modifications to reduce phosphorus discharges and enhance the water quality of Cayuga Lake. Project completion expected in September 2005.