Ohio EPA helps finance New Waterford water work

NEW WATERFORD — Village-wide improvements to the drinking water plant and distribution system are being financed with an interest-free loan from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Part of a two-phase, $8 million upgrade, the water treatment plant will replace chemical feed equipment, pressure filters, a blower, high-service pumps and electrical and control systems.

Phase I construction for the water line replacement project began earlier this month with prime contractor Marucci & Gaffney Excavating in Youngstown spearheading the work. Crews started work on Hatcher Road near the village water tower.

The upgrades are the result of years of effort on the part of the Mayor Shane Patrone, village council, and village administrators.

The Ohio EPA said the original construction of the system occurred sometime in the 1940s.

The first phase of the project will install mixing and data acquisition systems for both elevated storage tanks while replacing deteriorated distribution pipes along two roads.

In 1998, the OEPA created the Water Supply Revolving Loan Account (WSRLA)which provides below-market interest rate loans for compliance-related improvements for community water systems and nonprofit, non-community public water systems.

The New Waterford project is receiving a total of $1.78 million from Ohio EPA and of that, $900,000 is being loaned interest-free with the remaining $885,000 of the principal forgiven.

The OEPA said, “This will save the village an estimated $1.92 million when compared to a market rate loan.

Additionally, the village is receiving a $426,000 Ohio Public Works Commission grant and a $200,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant to help pay for the project.

Eligible WSRLA funding projects include design and construction loans for new, replaced, rehabilitated, upgraded or expanded water treatment plants and their components.

In addition, the OEPA said, WSRLA can provide technical assistance to public drinking water systems in a variety of areas from the planning, design and construction of improvements to enhancing the technical, managerial and financial capacity of these systems.

Ohio EPA’s revolving loan funds are partially supported by federal grants and designed to last indefinitely through repayment of loans and investments in bonds.

The WSRLA is managed by OEPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance with assistance from the Ohio Water Development Authority.

The OEPA is responsible for program development and implementation, individual project coordination, and environmental and other technical reviews or approvals of projects seeking funds.

The Ohio Water Development Authority provides financial management of the fund.