Bond sale providing funds for N.J. clean water projects

Robert A. Briant, Sr., Chairman of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust announced the sale of over $128 million in bonds to help finance 67 environmental protection projects worth more than $300 million. These projects will provide new or upgraded drinking water and wastewater treatment and conveyance systems as well open space preservation. A list of this year's borrowers with project descriptions is provided below...

• Loan rates will be as low as 1.2%

TRENTON, NJ, Oct. 31, 2008 -- Robert A. Briant, Sr., Chairman of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust announced the sale of over $128 million in bonds to help finance 67 environmental protection projects worth more than $300 million. These projects will provide new or upgraded drinking water and wastewater treatment and conveyance systems as well open space preservation. A list of this year's borrowers with project descriptions is provided below.

The sale was completed in one series:
Series 2008A -- $128,450,000 : Interest Rate -- 4.790%

"Not only will this financing lead to an improved environment but given the current economic situation the 10,000 to 11,000 jobs created by the construction of these projects is very important and fits in with Governor Corzine's initiative to improve the economy by improving the infrastructure of New Jersey. This bond sale marks the 22nd consecutive year the Trust has sold bonds to finance needed infrastructure projects in New Jersey," Briant stated. "With this bond sale, the Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program has provided low interest long-term loans to more than 600 projects in New Jersey, representing a total loan amount in excess of $4.4 billion."

Recent estimates indicate a current need for over $21 billion in funding for wastewater and drinking water projects across New Jersey. The Financing Program's loans, which are 75 and 50 percent below market rates, can provide substantial cost savings to municipalities and authorities. These savings are passed along to taxpayers and ratepayers.

"Our goal is to keep costs as low as possible for those responsible for protecting New Jersey's water resources. Our AAA bond rating from Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investor Service and Standard & Poor's makes our loans a very safe alternative to traditional market-rate financing," Briant said. "This high rating attracted 8 bidders in the Series A bond sale."

The Environmental Infrastructure Financing Program is a partnership between the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection that combines interest-free loans from State Revolving Funds with market rate loans from the sale of Trust bonds. This provides borrowers with a loan that is half the prevailing market rate. Projects that promote smart growth through land preservation or urban development are eligible for loans that are one quarter the market rate. Proceeds from yesterday's bond sale will be combined with zero percent State Revolving Funds from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to provide smart growth project loans at 1.2 percent and traditional project loans at 2.4 percent.

>> More about the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust

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