Valdosta Daily Times

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October 9, 2013

Valdosta receives $9.5 million GEFA loan

VALDOSTA — The City of Valdosta was notified by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) on Oct. 8, 2013, that it has received a 20-year $9,592,369 Georgia Fund loan to finance the completion of several necessary city projects.

The amount of the loan is the same amount as the unused portion of a previous GEFA loan that was going to expire in December 2013. City officials decided to close the original loan, and then reapply for a $9,592,369 loan to take advantage of an interest rate of nearly half the original rate, saving the taxpayers money.

The new loan also allows the city an additional three years to complete the necessary utility and engineering projects that were included but not completed in the original loan, such as the annexation water and sewer projects, upgrades to four lift stations, a re-chlorination station and a second test well at the city’s Water Treatment Plant.

“This is not additional debt, as the city only reapplied for the amount of the unused $9,592,369 portion of the original loan,” said Deputy City Manager for Administration Mark Barber. “The original loan was borrowed at a 4.12 percent interest rate, compared to the new interest rate of 2.40 percent, which will save taxpayers money in reduced interest expense.”

 The Georgia Fund, a state-funded program administered by GEFA, provides communities with low-interest loans for water, wastewater, water conservation and solid waste infrastructure projects. Eligible projects include water and sewer lines, treatment plants, pumping stations, wells, water storage tanks and water meters. These projects conserve and improve water resources, and facilitate economic growth and development. Low-interest loans from this program are available up to $10 million.

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