Loan approved for wastewater system improvements project in Desert Shores, Calif.

The North American Development Bank (NADB) Board of Directors has approved a loan for US$500,000 to assist the Salton Community Services District in financing an improvements project for the wastewater collection system in the rural community of Desert Shores, California.


San Antonio, Texas, May 7, 2003 -- The North American Development Bank (NADB) Board of Directors has approved a loan for US$500,000 to assist the Salton Community Services District in financing an improvements project for the wastewater collection system in the rural community of Desert Shores, California.

This loan is being provided through the NADB's Loan Program and will be made in the form of a municipal bond purchase for the project, which has a total cost of US$1 million. In addition, the community will receive a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development to cover the remaining project costs.

"We are pleased to expand the Bank's portfolio with the approval of this loan for the community of Desert Shores, California," said Raúl Rodríguez, NADB Managing Director. "With this loan approved today, the utility will be able to protect the region's water for the residents of the community."

Desert Shores is located 50 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border on the western coast of the Salton Sea, in an unincorporated area of Imperial County, California. The project entails replacing portions of the existing collection system and simplifying the pumping infrastructure. Currently, saltwater from the Salton Sea is infiltrating cracked sewer lines and affecting the quality of the treated wastewater, which is seeping into the groundwater below the treatment ponds.

The Bank is also contributing US$193,869 through the EPA-funded Border Environment Infrastructure Fund (BEIF) for transition assistance. These funds will help the district meet its debt service obligations, thereby allowing user fees to be increased in a gradual, more affordable manner.

"On behalf of residents of Desert Shores, California, who will directly benefit from the improvements to our wastewater system, we are pleased to receive this loan from the North American Development Bank," said Bob Butler, President of the Salton Community Services District. "We are a small, low-income community and would not have been able to see this project through without the assistance of NADB."

Through its Loan and Guaranty Program the NADB has approved more than US$59 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. Since its inception in 1995, the NADB has approved US$494 million in loans and grants for 57 infrastructure projects in the region.

For more information on the NADB, visit www.nadb.org.

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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