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Northwest Ohio Communities Receive $82 Million in Financing from Ohio EPA for Wastewater, Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvements
Communities in Northwest Ohio are receiving more than $82 million in low-interest rate funding from Ohio EPA to improve wastewater and drinking water infrastructure and make other water quality improvements. The loans were approved between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2020.
The lower interest rates and principal forgiveness will save these communities more than $14.4 million. Statewide, Ohio EPA awarded more than $466 million in loans during the first half of 2020, including $25.5 million in principal forgiveness. Combined, Ohio communities will save more than $90.9 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. The loans include funds to 20 communities to help low-income property owners repair or replace failing household sewage treatment systems; these loans do not have to be repaid.
For the first half of 2020, the following Northwest Ohio projects are receiving funding:
- Toledo is receiving a $37.8 million loan to upgrade filters at the Collins Park drinking water treatment plant, installing sand and granular activated carbon media to provide additional treatment for harmful algal bloom contaminants.
- Tiffin is receiving $14.3 million to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant to 13 million gallons per day treatment capacity.
- Fostoria is receiving $13.5 million to eliminate two of the city’s four remaining combined sewer overflows.
- Lima is receiving $2.07 million to replace the sanitary sewer pump stations at Mumaugh and Cable roads. The capacity of each station will exceed 1,150 gallons per minute.
- Ontario is receiving $1.93 million to design sanitary sewer and pump station improvements which will intercept sanitary sewer flow going into Mansfield and redirect the flow to a new wastewater treatment plant in Ontario.
- The Northwestern Water & Sewer District in Wood County is receiving three loans totaling $3.1 million. One loan is to improve the sanitary sewer system in the district’s Area 300 and Area 400 to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows and residential basement flooding. The other two loans will fund waterline replacements in Rossford and Lime City.
- Swanton is receiving $1.06 million to separate the combined sanitary and storm sewers on Brookside Drive, Woodside Drive, Parkside Drive, and Hallett Avenue to eliminate combined sewer overflows.
- Kenton is receiving two loans for planning future projects. A $330,000 loan will address the combined sanitary and storm sewer system in a nine-block area around the downtown square to determine the area with the greatest infiltration and inflow issue. A $79,813 loan is to plan the replacement of waterlines in the nine-block downtown square.
- Oregon is receiving a $867,514 to replace a waterline on Starr Avenue between Wynn and Stadium roads and install a waterline on Norden Road from Cedar Point Road to Bayshore Road to create a looped system for a dead end on Bayshore Road.
- LaRue is receiving $666,601 to replace the village’s drinking water storage tank. The loan includes $330,492 in principal forgiveness, meaning this amount does not have to be repaid.
- Greenwich is receiving $341,553 to design Phase 1 of a project to eliminate combined sewer overflows in the village.
- Wakeman is receiving $180,915 to replace the waterline on Abbott Street. The project also will include new fire hydrants.
- Metropolitan Park District of the Toledo Area is receiving $2.9 million to acquire and restore a 185-acre golf course that is adjacent to the 610-acre Secor Metropark. The golf course will be restored to native plant communities to re-establish more than 160 acres of high-quality wetlands and enhance the natural functions of four acres of existing wetlands and Prairie Ditch. More than 7,000 feet of ditches will be removed to improve hydrology. The funding is from the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP). Through the WRRSP, Akron is directing a portion of the interest to be repaid on its water reclamation facility headworks improvements project loan to be used for the restoration project.
- Health departments, districts, or county commissioners in the following counties are each receiving $150,000 in principal forgiveness loans for the repair and replacement of household sewage treatment systems: Ashland, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot, as well as the city of Shelby.
- Hardin County and Marion County Public Health are receiving $100,000 each and Mercer County is receiving $75,000 in principal forgiveness loans for the repair and replacement of 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 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.
More information about the SRF loan program 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.