Baton Rouge, La. - The Louisiana Department of Health (DHH) awarded a $5.25 million loan to the Town of Greenwood through the state's Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund (DWRLF). The low-interest subsidized loan will help improve the community's drinking water system.
"Safe drinking water is a major component of public health," said LDH State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry. "Towns and cities throughout the state have the opportunity to benefit through these loans which provide access to safe drinking water for community residents."
LDH and Greenwood officials finalized the loan Thursday, June 4, 2015. DWRLF funding will be used to upgrade and expand the existing water treatment plant on Highway 169 to produce 1.2 million gallons of water per day and for improvements to the system's distribution process. The proposed construction includes increasing pump capacity at the raw water intake by installing an inline booster station to deliver an additional 400 gallons per minute. Improvements at the plant site include the installation of a 3 million-gallon raw water settling basin, tube settlers, a sludge removal system, chemical injection equipment, transfer pumping facility, plant piping, membrane filtration system, water storage facilities, electrical and control systems, and miscellaneous contingency items.
"Since becoming Mayor of the Town of Greenwood, I have committed to improving the water quality and quantity for the residents of Greenwood. Through LDH and the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund we are going to realize this goal. We will be able to supply our residents and businesses in the community with good infrastructure improvements and additional capacities for future growth," said Greenwood Mayor Frank Stawasz.
Congress established the State Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund Programs in 1996 through an amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act. The program is jointly funded by an annual grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the individual participating states. In Louisiana, it is administered by LDH's Office of Public Health. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Drinking Water Capitalization Grant allowed for additional subsidy in the form of principal forgiveness of up to 30 percent of the loan principal, with a cap of $1,125,000 of principal forgiveness per project. Loans made through this program are low-interest and have a maximum 20-year repayment period. Both public and privately owned community and nonprofit, non-community water systems are eligible to apply for loans.
"Since the establishment of the fund we've seen great success throughout the state by improving community water systems" said Program Manager for the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund, Jennifer Wilson. "And it's achieved through a financial mechanism with secure and affordable financing."
For more information about the program, contact Jennifer Wilson at LDH's Office of Public Health, 225-342-7499.
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.
In the photo above, pictured from left to right: Jennifer Wilson, LDHH/OPH DWRLF Program Manager; Alan Offner, Foley & Judell, LLP; David Wolf, Adams and Reese, LLP, LDH Counsel; Veronica Brown, Town of Greenwood; Mayor Frank Stawasz, Town of Greenwood