SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the FY05 Capital Budget includes $19 million in state funds to provide the match to obtain $95 million in additional federal funds for the popular low-interest revolving loan programs that assist local communities to upgrade and expand wastewater and drinking water facilities.
“With a $5 return in federal dollars for each $1 the state spends, this is a great investment for our economy and our environment,” said Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Renee Cipriano.
The revolving loan programs provide low-interest funding for communities that need to expand or upgrade facilities to meet increased population and economic growth or to upgrade facilities to meet more stringent environmental and public health protection regulations. Communities must apply for the loans and meet federal and state criteria, with priority given to those facilities that do not meet environmental requirements. For example, several communities have been assisted in recent years with loans to add treatment equipment needed to remove naturally-occurring radium in their drinking water supplies under tighter federal standards.
“The revolving loan programs are a key component of many of the Opportunity Returns economic development plans that Governor Blagojevich has or will announce,” noted Director Cipriano.
In addition to the annual state and federal contributions, the repayments on the loans go back into the funds to help other communities.
The FY05 capital budget includes $12 million in state (Anti-Pollution Bond Fund) for the Wastewater Revolving Loan Program, providing the 20 percent match for up to $60 million in anticipated federal funding. Since the program started in 1989, 402 loans have been made for more than $1.57 billion. Projects include sewage treatment plant expansions, replacements and upgrades and sewer line extensions.
The FY05 capital budget includes $7 million for the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Program, the 20 percent match for up to $35 million in anticipated federal funding. Since the program started in 1997, 160 loans have been made for a total of $261 million. Projects include new, expanded or upgraded drinking water treatment plants and water lines, meters and other parts of the distribution system.