State revolving funds dedicated to Florida communities for clean water and drinking water projects.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs recently committed nearly $300 million in low-interest loans and grants for statewide clean water and drinking water projects. Both programs provide low-interest loans for planning, designing and constructing water systems.
"We are pleased to allocate state revolving funds for important projects like wastewater, stormwater and drinking water treatment facility upgrades, and rehabilitation of aging infrastructure," says Trina Vielhauer, director of the Division of Water Restoration Assistance. "Approximately $78 million is still available in state revolving fund loans and grants for interested communities with eligible clean water and drinking water projects."
Total Clean Water State Revolving Funds available for allocation for fiscal year 2016-17 were $180 million, of which $119 million was obligated to various clean water projects around the state, including Bowling Green, Bradenton, Brevard County, Cape Coral, Charlotte County, Clewiston, Daytona Beach, Edgewater, Florida City, Gateway Service Community Development District in Fort Myers, Green Cove Springs, Gulfport, Lakeland, Miramar, Mulberry, Spring Lake Improvement District in Sebring, Springfield, St. Petersburg, Tavares, Venice and Winter Haven. Eligible projects include wastewater, stormwater, reclaimed water and certain energy projects. Some examples of 2016-17 CWSRF projects include:
- Green Cove Springs will be awarded a $2.3 million design loan for a new advanced wastewater treatment facility and expansion of the existing reclaimed water system. Nearly 70 percent of the loan does not need to be paid back by the community, similar to a grant.
- Gulfport will be awarded a $721,300 increase to a $1.5 million loan for a sanitary sewer evaluation study follow-up including priority rehabilitation and replacement of deteriorated wastewater collection system components identified during the SSES, and additional system inspections. This project will reduce infiltration and inflow, restore structural integrity of the collection system and reduce wastewater discharges to Boca Ciega Bay and St. Petersburg.
- Venice will be awarded a $1 million construction loan for replacement of wastewater collection pipes, construction of a 5 million gallon reclaimed-water storage tank, and stormwater upgrades intended to improve water quality and drainage.
Total Drinking Water State Revolving Funds available for allocation for fiscal year 2016-17 were $114 million, of which $96 million was obligated to various drinking water projects around the state, including Alligator Park, Inc. in Punta Gorda, Cape Coral, Haines City, Highland Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Lake Wales, Lake Worth, Lee County, Miami-Dade County, North Bay Village, Orange City and St. Augustine. Eligible projects include drinking water, water supply and certain reclaimed water projects. Some examples of 2016-17 DWSRF projects include:
- Cape Coral will be awarded a $20 million construction loan to install more than 170 miles of irrigation pipes and three canal pump stations in two areas north of Pine Island Road.
- Hillsboro Beach will be awarded a $6.6 million construction loan to replace aging water pipes from the southern end of the town limits to Town Hall.
- St. Augustine will be awarded a $9.4 million construction loan to rehabilitate its water distribution system, including piping and water meters, which will help with the city’s water conservation efforts.
A benefit of CWSRF and DWSRF loans for projects that help small and financially disadvantaged communities is that a significant portion of the loan does not need to be repaid by the community. Nearly $11 million of the total loan amounts for 2016-17 projects requires no repayment.
For this fiscal year, more than $78 million remains for eligible CWSRF and DWSRF projects, to be obligated at future public listing meetings held quarterly. About $12 million of these remaining funds may be obligated as a portion of loans that requires no repayment for qualifying financially disadvantaged communities. The first step for a project to be considered for listing at an upcoming public meeting is for communities to submit a completed request for inclusion, which is available on the SRF website.
Each year, public listing meetings are held to obligate funding to eligible water projects. Once a project is placed on the funding list, the project sponsor, which is the water utility, city or county government or special district, can then submit a loan application to the SRF program in order to receive the funds.
The state's CWSRF and DWSRF programs combined have awarded more than $5 billion in funding since their inception. The programs are funded by federal grants, state matching funds, loan repayments and interest earnings.