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DEP Announces Stimulus Loan for City of Sanford Wastewater Facility

September 16, 2009

stimulus-1~Federal funding to protect environment, stimulate economy~

SANFORD – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently awarded $2.6 million to the city of Sanford for wastewater management. The funds, part of DEP’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program, will fund the rehabilitation of the city’s wastewater conveyance systems.

The work is needed to reduce the risk of sanitary sewer overflows and reduce the frequency and volume of the city’s discharges to the St. Johns River during rain events. This funding will help prevent excessive stormwater inflow and groundwater from leaking into the collection system, thus reducing the risk of surface water and groundwater pollution. This allocation follows a June award of $5 million to the city of Sanford for stormwater management. These funds, also part of DEP’s CWSRF, were to fund the construction of a stormwater retention pond and new culverts to divert the stormwater. The project will alleviate the health and safety concerns associated with flooding in primarily minority and low-income residential areas. The retention pond will help clean the stormwater that flows into Lake Monroe. The funds awarded to Sanford are part of the approximately $217 million awarded to Florida from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to help local governments finance improvements to wastewater, stormwater and drinking water facilities essential to protecting public health and the environment across the state. Florida was one of the first states to have met all the requirements necessary to receive the full amount of ARRA funds to support both the CWSRF and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). “In order to protect water quality and public health for our citizens, it is essential that we invest in our wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure. The stimulus funds advance our ongoing efforts to provide needed funding for infrastructure to local communities,” said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. “We have had a tremendous demand for this ARRA funding, which will help build valuable public projects.” DEP has committed all $217 million in available CWSRF and DWSRF ARRA funding. Qualifying projects were selected for ARRA funding, based on their readiness and priority, at public hearings held in 2009 on the following dates: February 25, May 13 and August 12. DEP will also continue to work with all applicants to help them apply for other funding as it becomes available. DEP received more than $850 million in requests for the $85 million of ARRA drinking water project funds and more than $1.5 billion in requests competing for $132.3 million in ARRA wastewater and stormwater funding. DEP established its SRF programs, under agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to provide low-interest financing to plan, design and build wastewater, stormwater and drinking water systems. Funded by federal capitalization grants, state matching funds, loan repayments, interest earnings, and periodic bond issues, SRF loans are offered at interest rates substantially below current market rates and help make loans affordable. Repayments from earlier loans are used to make new loans, allowing the program to operate in perpetuity. Since 1999, Florida has invested more than $3.7 billion to upgrade and improve water and wastewater facilities and clean up stormwater pollution, funding about 2,400 projects statewide. For more information on the State Revolving Funds, visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wff. For complete list of communities scheduled to receive ARRA funding, visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wff/dwsrf/docs/arra-fundlist-dw.pdf and www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2009/05/files/cwsrf.pdf. For more information about Florida’s use of the federal recovery dollars made available through ARRA, please visit www.FlaRecovery.com.

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