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$3.61 million for improvements to Norwich Wastewater Treatment Plant

By WKTV News

NORWICH, N.Y. - The Board of Directors of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. (EFC) have approved a grant of up to $2 million, along with $1,611,415 in no-interest financing, for improvements to the City of Norwich wastewater treatment plant.

The city is replacing equipment used to filter wastewater. New rotating biological contactors, where microorganisms dissolve waste as a secondary treatment process, will be installed as part of $4.36 million in improvements.

"Thanks to a $2 million grant, along with a $1.61 million no-interest loan, Norwich will save $487,000 compared to the cost of Norwich borrowing on its own," said EFC President and CEO Matthew Driscoll. "Improvements like those planned for the Norwich plant are vital investments that will protect public health and the environment."

EFC is the arm of Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration that helps communities pay for major improvements to their wastewater systems. In 2010, EFC provided Norwich with a $3.9 million short-term loan. That loan will now be replaced by the 30-year financing approved today by the EFC board.

EFC Board Chair and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens commended Norwich for replacing equipment that is now more than 20 years old. "This upgrade will greatly benefit the area and help protect the state's natural resources. I commend Norwich and EFC for making this investment in the protection of our state's water quality."

The grant and loan approved for Norwich come from New York State's Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF), a state- and federally-funded program that provides low-cost loans and grants for sewer and wastewater infrastructure.

"A little over four years ago, our original project was calculated to cost the City about $5.7 million in debt service or about $190,000 in payments per year( principal and interest)," said Norwich Mayor Joesph Maiurano. "I can't thank Matt Driscoll enough for his hands-on approach to helping us with the $2 million grant and a 0% loan (on top of a $485,00 EPA grant), saving the City about $4 million over the original projections and having only $53,800 annual payments. Updating our infrastructure is vital for our quality of life, for our safety, and programs like this make it possible for smaller communities to maintain that infrastructure. Our thanks to Matt Driscoll and the EFC staff for their professionalism and eagerness to help the City of Norwich through this difficult hurdle toward protecting our State's water system."

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