Tue07292014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Rise in income means no sewer grants

Due to the recent rise in town residents’ median income, reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, Colonial Beach cannot qualify for grant funding for water and sewer projects.

In May, the town applied for funding through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund offered by the Department of Health. Since the application was submitted, new census data confirmed the median income for Colonial Beach residents to be $45,739/yr. This increase has limited the town’s options for borrowing money for water and sewer projects.

The town took one more step to apply to the Virginia Municipal League (VML), an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development, for grant options. But again, the rise in median income for Colonial Beach has restricted the VML from offering grant money.

Town Manager Val Foulds reported to the town council last week that, “While grant funding is not available for water and sewer projects, grant funding is, and will continue to become available, for other community projects as a percentage of total-projects’ funding.” Foulds clarified in a phone interview Monday evening that projects such as replacing garbage trucks or emergency pumps could still be eligible for grant funding. However only 15% of the total cost of equipment is eligible for grant funding. The rest must be borrowed or paid out of pocket.

In the meantime, Colonial Beach has applied to, and received a loan offer from, The Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water in the amount of $3,972,566 through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

The loan will be for a term of 20 years and requires no collateral. The interest rate will be determined, but will be 1% below the prevailing market rate at the time of the loan closing.

Written notification of acceptance of this offer was required by July 26. Council voted unanimously last Thursday to accept the loan. This loan will help fund the current sewer rehabilitation project, taking place in the Third St. area.

The project involves replacing or relining sewer pipes to eliminate inflow and infiltration of rainwater into the town’s sewer lines. This reduces the amount of run-off needing to be filtered by the wastewater treatment plant.

Linda Farneth

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