Funds will help cities and towns pay for improvements to drinking water and wastewater infrastructure
Story Courtesy State House News Service and The Office of State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg
BOSTON – State Treasurer Deb Goldberg, Chair of the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust, announced more than $7.5 million in loan principal forgiveness for 17 projects in nine communities statewide. The principal forgiveness funds are administered on a competitive basis to cities and towns most in need of financial assistance to help pay for improvements to drinking water and infrastructure.
“Providing these funds to local communities will save the ratepayers money and protect the health of the citizens and the environment,” said Treasurer Goldberg. “This $7.5 million is another example of the excellent work the Trust does saving our local communities money.”
The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust improves the water quality in the Commonwealth through the provision of low-cost capital financing to cities, towns and other eligible entities. Due to the reduction of loan principal funded by this program, impacted communities will see their bi-annual loan repayments reduced, freeing up capital for other local needs. The loans were originated to pay for municipal water projects such as upgrades to water treatment facilities and stormwater and sewer improvement projects.
The communities that earned loan principal forgiveness are: Brockton, Fall River, Gardner, Gloucester, New Bedford, Revere, Wareham, Webster, and West Springfield.
“The challenges to maintain and operate water infrastructure are significant for communities in Massachusetts,” said Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), which is a member of the Clean Water Trust. “The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to be able to direct some additional financial assistance to maintaining and improving water infrastructure and protecting the health of residents in these communities.”
The $7.5 million in loan forgiveness funds is associated with a total original loan amount of more than $109 million. The Massachusetts Clean Water Trust lends financial assistance to the Commonwealth under the State Revolving Fund program which offers subsidized loans to cities, towns, and regional agencies to help protect their water resources and drinking water.
Since its establishment in 1989, the Trust has loaned nearly $7.3 billion to improve and maintain the quality of water in the Commonwealth. An estimated 97 percent of Massachusetts’ residents have benefited from the financial assistance of the Clean Water Trust.
Editor’s Note, The Citizen Chronicle: A list of communities and loans impacted by the grants was attached to the original posting by The State House News Service. Here, we will list just the relevant information for Webster, which is in our coverage area:
MASSACHUSETTS CLEAN WATER TRUST
2017 Principal Forgiveness Projects
Webster – DWP-17-04:
“This project involves the construction of a water treatment plant (WTP) and associated appurtenances. The Memorial Beach Wells WTP project corrects serious existing problems within the Webster water supply. This project returns compromised drinking water sources to operation and mitigates potential long-term public health threats by reducing elevated levels of manganese and ensuring corrosion control at the new entry point into the distribution system. In addition, this project will address elevated levels of iron above the secondary maximum contaminant limit (SMCL), provide 4-log disinfection, and provide additional system redundancy to ensure availability and flow capacity.”