PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss
Muskingum County Extending Water Service with Financing from Ohio EPA
Muskingum County is extending public drinking water service to 273 residences and businesses to the unincorporated area around Cannelville in a project financed with an interest-free loan from Ohio EPA.
The project will construct 76,000 feet of waterlines along State Route 555, County Road 6 and into Cannelville. This will provide a reliable public water supply to replace contaminated private water supplies and will eliminate three small public water systems.
Created in 1998, the Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA) provides below-market interest rate loans for compliance-related improvements for community water systems and nonprofit, non-community public water systems. The project is receiving a total of $2.64 million from Ohio EPA. Of that, $1.14 million is being loaned interest-free with the remaining $1.5 million of the principal forgiven. This will save the county an estimated $3 million when compared to a market rate loan. Additionally, the county is receiving a $240,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant and a $33,000 Community Development Block Grant to help pay for the project.
Projects eligible for WSRLA funding include design and construction loans for new, replaced, rehabilitated, upgraded or expanded water treatment plants and their components. In addition, the WSRLA can provide technical assistance to public drinking water systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems.
Ohio EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds. The WSRLA is 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 or approvals of projects seeking funds. The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the fund.
More information about the WSRLA is available at: epa.ohio.gov/defa/EnvironmentalandFinancialAssistance.aspx.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.