Gwinnett, Braselton get loans for infrastructure

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County and the city of Braselton were two of the big winners Tuesday as Gov. Sonny Perdue announced both have received environmental infrastructure loans that could be used to better manage water resources.

"Investment in infrastructure creates jobs, promotes economic development and increases our citizen's quality of life," Perdue said in a released statement.

In Gwinnett's case, it received a loan total of $5 million, made possible by the federal stimulus package, to be used for the installation of a power generator that will be fueled by gas drawn from anaerobic digesters. The electricity generated from the project will be used to help power one of the county's wastewater treatment facilities.

Because it's considered a green project, $3 million of the loan will be forgiven and Gwinnett will pay three percent interest on the remaining $2 million over a 20-year period. The county will also chip in $500,000 of its own, bringing the total project cost to $5.5 million.

For Braselton, the city didn't receive federal stimulus funds, but was awarded two Georgia Fund loans totaling $1,240,000. The money is to be used for upgrading two wastewater pump stations.

Because Braselton is a WaterFirst community, it will only pay a 2.81 percent interest rate on the loans, one percent lower than the current Georgia Fund rate.