NADB approves loan for water projects in Fabens, Texas

Aug. 23, 2002
NADB has approved a loan commitment for US$4.75 million to finance improvements to the water and wastewater systems of the El Paso County Water Control and Improvement District No. 4 in Fabens, Texas.

San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 23, 2002 -- The North American Development Bank (NADB) Board of Directors approved a low interest loan commitment for US$4.75 million to finance improvements to the water and wastewater systems of the El Paso County Water Control and Improvement District No. 4 in Fabens, Texas.

This loan is being provided through the NADB's Low Interest Rate Lending Facility (LIRF) and will be made in the form of a municipal bond purchase. The NADB is also contributing US$6.1 million in grant assistance for the project through its EPA-funded Border Environment Infrastructure Fund.

Other funding sources include a loan from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) and equity contributions from the District's cash reserves. In addition, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC) is providing grant assistance for project design.

"We are very pleased to approve this loan, the largest to date to a U.S. community, which was made possible by the new Low Interest Rate Lending Facility," commented U.S. Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs John B. Taylor, chairman of the NADB Board. "We expect it to be the first of many."

The US$12 million project will expand the existing wastewater treatment plant, install well-site water treatment systems to remove iron and manganese from the supply source, construct a 500,000 gallon storage tank, and rehabilitate the water distribution and collection systems.

The improvements to the water distribution system will greatly reduce bacterial growth, which currently gives the drinking water a rotten egg odor, and causes major discoloration problems, making its use objectionable to Fabens' residents. In addition, increased water pressure will ensure adequate fire protection, while improvements to the wastewater facilities will enhance the quality of the treated water discharged into the Rio Grande.

"On behalf of the El Paso County Water Control and Improvement District No. 4 and the town of Fabens, I would like to thank the North American Development Bank for giving us the opportunity to be one of the first communities to receive a very low interest rate loan to improve our water and wastewater infrastructure," said Steve Rodriguez, the District general manager.

In addition to the loan for the Fabens project, the NADB Board of Directors also approved a US$5.3 million LIRF loan for a wastewater project in Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila, as well as a US$1.25 million LIRF loan and a $500,000 grant through its Solid Waste Environment Program (SWEP) for a landfill project in San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora.

Through its Loan and Guaranty Program the NADB has approved more than US$35 million in loans to support the construction of environmental infrastructure in various communities, which will benefit residents on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The North American Development Bank, created under the auspices of NAFTA, is a financial institution established and capitalized in equal parts by the United States and Mexico for the purpose of financing environmental infrastructure projects along their common border. As a pioneer institution in its field, the Bank is working to develop integrated, sustainable and fiscally responsible projects with broad community support in a framework of close cooperation and coordination between Mexico and the United States.

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