FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 14, 2015
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9725
Anna Miller, Administrator, DNRC, 444-6689
Bainville Ratepayers to Save $178,000 from SRF Program Changes
Helena, Mont. – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that ratepayers in Bainville will save $178,257 thanks to changes he made to the State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program last year. The savings come as part of a new $156,000 SRF loan that was approved to improve the city’s wastewater treatment system, as well as the refinancing of an existing $328,000 to the new lower rate.
“Through strong fiscal management, and a bit of common sense, we’re ensuring ratepayers in Bainville can keep more money in their pockets,” Bullock said of the loan. “We’ll continue to work with local communities to find responsible ways to make critical infrastructure improvements, while saving money for Main Street Montana businesses and customers.
The community, which had a population of 150 in 2008, has seen their population swell to 858 due to growth associated with oil and gas development in the region. The loan will allow the city to make important upgrades to the city’s wastewater system, allowing it to serve a population of 1,500. Through the project, the city will replace a water storage tank and approximately 4,000 feet of outdated cast-iron pipeline. It is scheduled for completion at the end of 2015.
Last year, Bullock reduced the interest rates on loans through the SRF loan program in order to expand local government’s access to capital to make important upgrades to local infrastructure, while saving ratepayers money. He reduced long-term interest rates in this program from 3 percent, to 2.5 percent, and reduced construction interest rates from 3 percent to 1.5 percent. In addition, he reduced the amount of financial reserves communities must hold in order to receive a loan, and reduced the debt service coverage communities must have. These changes were made possible through strong fiscal management at the state level and the state’s sterling bond rating. In their first year, these reduced rates are expected to provide $29 million in additional savings for ratepayers.
The changes to the SRF interest rate were made as part of Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project. This project is building and implementing a business plan for the state of Montana that helps businesses grow, supports job creation, and increases wages. One of the goals of the project is to ensure Montana businesses and communities have an efficient and reliable infrastructure.
Bullock has proposed additional investments in infrastructure in Eastern Montana, including upgrades to roads, bridges and schools. This proposal requires approval from the 2015 Legislature.
The State Revolving Fund loan program, which is administered by DNRC and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), enables Montana communities to upgrade or expand critical drinking or wastewater treatment facilities at the lowest possible cost.
For more information on the State Revolving Fund program, contact Anna Miller of DNRC at (406) 444-6689, or visit the Montana DNRC Web site at http://dnrc.mt.gov/.