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Natural Resources Commission Approves More Than $12 Million in Loans

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by Tyler Hale

Seven water and wastewater projects in Arkansas have received funding from the state Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Commission.  In total, the Natural Resources Commission approved $12,299,195 in loans for the seven projects.

Six of the projects will be managed by Arkansas cities and one is a county project.

The largest loan the commission awarded was a $4,822,900 loan to Pulaski County that is designated for the Gravel Ridge Sewer Improvement District 213. This loan, which was made from the Arkansas Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, is for wastewater treatment plant improvements. According to an Arkansas Department of Agriculture release, this project is expected to impact 1,500 individuals.

The second largest loan was made to the City of Searcy. Through the Searcy Board of Public Utilities, the city has received a $4 million loan for sewer rehabilitation and repairs. This loan is also made through the Arkansas Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund.

Flippin, located in Marion County, received the only other multi-million loan from the Natural Resources Commission. The city received two loans – a $1,780,000 loan and a $1,524,000 loan with principal forgiveness. This amount totals $3,304,000. The funds will be used to bring the city’s wastewater treatment facility into compliance.

Nashville received a $623,519 loan to repair an overflow spillway which was damaged by flooding. This funding was provided by the Arkansas Water Development Fund.

Rosston, located in Nevada County, was awarded two loans – a $272,826 loan and a $272,826 loan with principal forgiveness, to improve the city’s 50,000 gallon elevated storage tank. The funds will also be used to replace the city’s water meters. These loans were drawn from the Arkansas Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund.

The final two projects are for the City of Hampton, which received a $277,564 loan to convert three wastewater lift stations into submersible stations, and for the city of Caraway, which received a $327,000 loan to drill a new well and repair disinfectant detention tanks. These loans were both provided by the Arkansas Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund.

According to the Natural Resources Commission’s website, the lending rates for the Arkansas Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund and the Arkansas Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund are 1 percent for a 10 year repayment period, 1.75 percent for a 20 year repayment period or 2.25 percent for a thirty year repayment period.

The Water Development Fund’s interest rates are 2.10 percent for a 10 year repayment period, 2.55 percent for a twenty year repayment period or 2.85 percent for a 30 year repayment period.

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