Mo. DNR provides almost $70M in municipal water, wastewater loans

In spite of the current financial market downturn, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources provided almost $70 million in low-interest loans at a rate of 1.68 percent annually to Missouri communities through the Sate Revolving Fund...

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, Nov. 14, 2008 -- In spite of the current financial market downturn, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources provided almost $70 million in low-interest loans at a rate of 1.68 percent annually to Missouri communities through the Sate Revolving Fund.

The department provided loans to the cities of Ashland, Holcomb, Jefferson City, La Plata, Milan, Moberly, Mount Vernon, Poplar Bluff and Stockton, as well as the Public Water Supply District Number 4 of Cole County, the Public Water Supply District Number 3 of Livingston County and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District.

The State Revolving Fund is a perpetual loan program operated by the department that provides subsidized, low-interest loans to communities and public water and sewer districts statewide to construct water and wastewater treatment facilities. The average interest rate on the bonds was 1.68 percent after the program's 70 percent interest subsidy is applied. These extremely low interest rates allow communities to construct infrastructure improvements and achieve environmental compliance at affordable user rates.

Department Director Doyle Childers was pleased with the results of this financing. "Missouri's State Revolving Fund program continues as a national leader," said Childers. "The communities participating in the program will be able to make environmental improvements to their water and wastewater infrastructure while keeping rates more affordable for their customers."

To date, the program has financed $2.01 billion of construction statewide and provided interest savings of more than $599 million to its participants as compared to conventional financing. Federal funds through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provide 80 percent of the loan pool with a 20 percent state match.

The latest financing showed continued recognition of Missouri's program, which received bond ratings of AAA by Moody's Investors Service and a AAA rating from Fitch Investors Service.

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