Millions of dollars will soon flow Paulding County’s way to fund one of eight water supply projects under the Governor’s Water Supply Program.
Paulding will receive nearly a third of the loans awarded last week by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and Georgia Department of Community Affairs. GEFA and DCA awarded $90,490,866 in loans and $9,060,000 state direct investment for eight projects across the state—Paulding’s project will see construction of a 305-acre pumped-storage reservoir on Richland Creek in the northern portion of the county, with an intake on the Etowah River used to fill the reservoir.
GEFA released details of the funding awards last week; Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin announced Paulding’s funding approval at put on by the .
“This is great news. This is one of the big first projects, one of eight in the state, and it was the single-largest loan approved yesterday,” Austin said.
County leaders also touched on the award during , with BOC Chairman David Austin saying that Paulding’s reservoir was one of Gov. Nathan Deal’s top projects.
“This reservoir, the Richland Creek, is either his number-one or his number-two [project]. I think there’s 14 on his list, and I think he’s hoping to successfully build eight or 10 in his timeframe,” David Austin said.
Paulding County was approved for a 40-year loan of $29.1 million to construct its reservoir, which will be designed with a projected yield of 35 million gallons a day. The total cost of the reservoir project is estimated at $86.4 million, with the county providing the remaining $57.3 million in funding.
The county will pay no interest on the loan for the first three years of construction; 1 percent for the remainder of construction, accrued and capitalized; and 1.82 percent during the repayment period once construction is complete. The county will not be charged a closing fee.
“The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and the Water Supply Task Force worked hard to develop a plan that helps local governments finance water supply infrastructure,” GEFA Executive Director Kevin Clark said in a news release last week. “Today we’re making our initial funding awards and we look forward to supporting more projects in the near future.”
In January 2011, Gov. Deal directed GEFA to develop and launch the GWSP and committed $300 million to the program over four years. The purpose of the GWSP is to align and mobilize the resources of the state of Georgia to assist local governments with developing new sources of water supply adequate to meet future water demand forecasts. GEFA convened the Water Supply Task Force that provided guidance in the program’s development and implementation.
In addition to water supply projects, GEFA’s loan programs can finance a variety of water and wastewater infrastructure, including water conservation projects.
Other entities awarded funds for their water infrastructure projects last week were the cities of Cornelia, Hahira and Vienna; Newton, Oconee and Walton Counties; the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission and the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority.