Stimulus to provide $10M for pump station

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority and Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that Gwinnett County will receive $10 million in stimulus funds to finish its No Business Creek regional pump station in the southern portion of the county.

In what will be the third of three construction phases, Gwinnett County is using the project to build a sewer tunnel to store and convey wastewater to the site of the No Business Creek station.

"Investment in infrastructure creates jobs, promotes economic development and increases our citizen's quality of life," Perdue said in a statement. "Improving public health and safety is critical to a community's economic growth and prosperity."

In February, Congress and President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included substantial investments in both the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which are both low-interest federal loan programs administered by GEFA. On Tuesday, Perdue and GEFA said five of the environmental infrastructure projects taking place in the state were either fully or partially financed by the stimulus package to the tune of $40.5 million total.

"The projects that we agreed to finance today illustrate how GEFA helps communities of all sizes, in all areas of the state," said Matt Beasley, chairman of the GEFA Board of Directors. "From the smallest communities to the largest, GEFA is investing in communities that are willing to invest in themselves."

Under terms of the loan, Gwinnett County will receive a Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan of $6 million and a subsidy of $4 million. The county will pay three percent interest on a 20-year loan of $6 million.

This third and final phase of the No Business Creek tunnel will complete the project, which started in 2005 and whose $55 million price tag has been completely provided by the authority. GEFA Executive Director Phil Foil said the loan programs help local governments like Gwinnett's by improving their environmental infrastructure.

"Financing water and sewer projects encourages economic growth and the stewardship of our environment," Foil said.