Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced that DeKalb Utility District has been approved to receive $5.25 million in low interest loans for water and wastewater infrastructure improvements.
“It’s great to see local governments using this important program to help address critical drinking water and wastewater needs. Making these infrastructure improvements will benefit the health of the communities and economic growth,” Haslam said.
The funding paves the way for DeKalb Utility District to complete a proposed water treatment plant. In a letter to DUD Chairman Roger Turney dated May 5, 2014, Sherwin N. Smith, Director of the State Revolving Fund Loan Program wrote that the DUD’s Facilities Plan for the project has been approved.
The facilities plan provides recommendations to construct a new 2.0 million gallon per day water treatment plant and upgrade the existing water treatment system serving the DeKalb Utility District (DeKalb, Cannon, Smith, and Wilson Counties). The total estimated project cost is $12,000,000. The DeKalb Utility District will receive two Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loans totaling $5,250,000 to fund this project. The first loan is for $2,500,000 with a $2,000,000 loan and $500,000 in principle forgiveness that will not have to be repaid by the DeKalb Utility District. The second DWSRF loan is for $2,750,000. Additional funding includes a Rural Utilities Service loan for $5,000,000, a Rural Utilities Service grant for $1,250,000, and an Appalachian Regional Commission grant for $500,000".
“With the two loans from the State Revolving Fund Loan Program, the savings for DUD customers has improved dramatically. The $12 million project will be funded with a $2.25 million grant including a forgivable loan, $4.75 million with a 20 year loan at .60% and the final $5 million with a 40 year loan from Rural Utilities Services at 2.75%. Because of the low interest rate on this completed financial package, issuing bonds with a higher interest rate will not be necessary” stated DUD manager Jon Foutch.
The project provides for the construction of a new raw water intake structure and raw water pump station on the Holmes Creek Embayment of Center Hill Reservoir (Caney Fork River); an 18-inch diameter raw water transmission line from the raw water pump station to the new 2.0 million gallon per day water treatment plant located along Holmes Creek Road; an 18-inch diameter finished water transmission line along Holmes Creek Road, Allen’s Ferry Road, and U.S. Highway 70; and new 8-inch diameter water distribution lines along Big Rock Road, Dry Creek Road, Game Ridge Road, Turner Road, Tittsworth Road, and Walker Lane. A finished water pumping station will be constructed to deliver water from the Snow’s Hill Water Tank to the Short Mountain Water Tank. The new water treatment plant will also include clarification, mixed media filtration and backwash systems, and a 250,000 gallon clear well.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in March found that the proposed DUD water treatment plant would not significantly affect the environment but the public had until April 28 to make comments before a final decision was reached on whether the project should go forward. There were no significant public responses posing objections.
In the letter to Turney, Smith wrote that "The documents associated with the Facilities Plan have been reviewed in accordance with appropriate state rules, policies, regional guidance, and technical publications. Based on our review, a Finding of No Significant Impact was issued on March 28, 2014. The 30 day comment period for the FNSI has expired, and no significant public objections have been received. Therefore, full approval of this Facilities Plan is now granted."