BOSTON, MA – The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced that 113 projects, impacting communities across the Commonwealth, are eligible to receive approximately $819 million in low-interest-rate loans and grants to fund construction, planning and asset management projects designed to improve water quality; upgrade or replace aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure; and cut treatment plant energy use and costs.
As part of the announcement, the Town of Hingham was offered a $500,000 low-interest loan to fund the planning of a Stormwater Master Plan. The Town must decide if they would like to move forward with the project by June 30, 2021, and secure local funding authority.
“The state funds being administered throughout the Commonwealth will allow our cities and towns to make significant investments in their clean water infrastructure,” said Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “Maintaining this infrastructure is vital to ensuring public health and it’s great to have Hingham be offered funding to develop a stormwater master plan.”
“I am grateful for the state’s ongoing investment in our community,” said Representative Meschino (D-Hull). “This low-interest loan will allow the Town of Hingham to better protect its water supply and plan for future impacts, including those of climate change, on its infrastructure.”
The State Revolving Fund (SRF) financing is administered by the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust (the Trust) and funds projects implemented by cities and towns, regional water supply and wastewater treatment districts, and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). The SRF is composed of two programs that have provided nearly $8 billion to Massachusetts projects: the Clean Water Fund, first capitalized in 1989; and the Drinking Water Fund, which began operation in 1999. More information on the two SRF programs can be found here.
This year, the Clean Water SRF provides approximately $622 million in financing for clean water projects across the Commonwealth. Approximately $575 million will finance 49 new construction projects, nearly $30 million will be allocated towards financing four previously approved multi-year projects, $3 million has been allocated to the emergency set-aside account, $5 million will be directed to the Community Septic Management Program to remediate failed septic systems in participating communities, and nearly $9 million will finance nine proposed planning projects.
Massachusetts awards subsidized infrastructure financing under the SRF, which is administered by the Trust – a joint effort of MassDEP, the Executive Office of Administration and Finance and the State Treasurer’s Office.
To be eligible for Clean Water or Drinking Water SRF loans, municipalities, wastewater districts and water suppliers filed applications with MassDEP last year demonstrating that proposed projects offer significant public health or water quality benefits, have local funding authorization and demonstrate that there is a commitment on the borrower’s part to file a timely loan application. The projects on the 2021 SRF list must now file loan applications and receive MassDEP approval to obtain funding.