COLUMBUS -- Communities in Northwest Ohio are receiving more than $19 million in low-interest rate funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements.
Crestline along the Richland-Crawford County border is among the entities that will receive this financing. Willard, in Huron County, is also on the statewide list of communities who will benefit.
The loans were approved between April 1 and June 30, 2021. Lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities $3.97 million.
Crestline is receiving $501,351 to replace approximately 2,800 feet of 12-inch cast iron waterline with lead joints and several lead and galvanized service lines to homes and businesses from Selzer Street to the Crawford-Richland County line.
The loan includes $24,175 in principal forgiveness, meaning that portion of the loan does not have to be repaid.
Willard is receiving $526,919 to design drinking water system improvements. The project will include improvements at the river intake building, reservoir intake building, and water treatment plant.
Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $97.8 million in loans during the second quarter of 2021, including $17 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save almost $31 million when compared to market-rate loans. The projects are improving Ohio’s surface water quality and the reliability and quality of Ohio drinking water systems. This funding includes assistance to local health districts to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems.
For the second quarter of 2021, the following Northwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:
Napoleon is receiving a $15 million loan for its wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project. The project includes digester rehabilitation, new headworks facilities, installation of a pump and clarifier, and other improvements.
Kenton is receiving two loans totaling $1.27 million for drinking water system improvements. One project is part of the downtown revitalization plan and involves repairing or replacing all infrastructure, including water mains, storm, and sanitary sewers to reduce the number of water main breaks and the amount of inflow and infiltration of stormwater into the sewers. The other project will make major improvements at the 55-year-old drinking water treatment plant.
Elmore is receiving $170,362 to power wash, spot clean, and recoat the exterior of the elevated water storage tank, repair the interior ladder, repair pit welding, and add supports for future cathodic protection.
Put-in-Bay is receiving $129,266 to update the emergency power generator for the drinking water treatment plant.
McComb is receiving a $58,250 loan is to design the Church Street storm sewer interceptor from West Creek to the abandoned railroad, including storm sewer improvements to Cherry and Pleasant streets and reconstruction of Church Street between West Cooper and North streets.
Bettsville is receiving $43,450 to design a project to improve the chemical feed and clarifier at the wastewater treatment plant. The new chemical feed facility will improve removal of phosphorus from the wastewater.
Defiance County General Health District, Erie County Health Department, Hancock County, Ottawa County Health Department, Paulding County Health Department, Putnam County Health Department, Sandusky County Health Department, and Williams County Health Department are each receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans to repair and replace household sewage treatment systems. Hardin County is receiving a $100,000 principal forgiveness loan to replace or repair household 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, non-community 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 stormwater, 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.
More information about the SRF loan program is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.