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Guyton gets GEFA loan
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ATLANTA — Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority Executive Director Chris Clark announced Monday the approval of a Georgia Fund loan of $13,349,950 for the city of Guyton. The loan, approved by the GEFA Executive Committee, will help finance the construction of a 500,000 gallons-per-day wastewater treatment facility.

“We’re excited about it,” said Guyton Alderman Phillip King. “If we can get everything else moving as fast as that went, we’ll be up and running in no time. Everything is falling into place.”

King said the push for a wastewater treatment plant began before he was elected to city council a year and a half ago. Next for the city is to get the engineering and design done and sent to the state Environmental Protection Division for approval. The city also has to finalize the land purchase where the sewage treatment plant will go. Public hearings will follow those two steps.

“Infrastructure improvements help cities and counties create jobs, promote economic development and increase the quality of life for Georgia citizens,” Gov. Sonny Perdue said.  “I’m pleased these investments are being made in infrastructure improvements to assist counties and municipalities across the state.”

“The Georgia Fund loan program is a tangible commitment by Governor Perdue and the General Assembly to assist local governments across the state with their efforts to provide clean water and sewer improvements,” said Clark. “In addition to the public’s health and safety, these projects are critical to communities across Georgia and to their ability to prosper economically.”

Clark expressed appreciation to Gov. Perdue, state Sen. Jack Hill and state Rep. Jon Burns for their support. He credited Gov. Perdue’s commitment to helping Georgia cities and counties finance infrastructure development as one of the main contributors to GEFA’s success. Gov. Perdue’s amended FY08 and FY09 budget recommendations include $120 million for water infrastructure and reservoir development, $42 million of which is specifically earmarked for the Georgia Fund.

“The city of Guyton project that we agreed to finance today shows how GEFA helps communities of all sizes, in all areas of the state,” said J.C. Warren, chairman of the GEFA Board of Directors and a member of the Screven County Board of Commissioners. “From the smallest of communities to the largest, GEFA is investing in communities that are willing to invest in themselves.”

The city will pay 4.1 percent interest on the 20-year loan.  The total project cost is $13,349,950, with GEFA providing the entire amount.

The Georgia Fund is a state funded program administered by GEFA for water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure projects. The program has maximum flexibility and accessibility, and offers fast loan and grant approvals. The Georgia Fund provides loans and grants to local governments for projects such as water and sewer lines, treatment plants, pumping stations, wells, water storage tanks and water meters.  Low interest loans from this program range from $20,000 to $50 million.