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EPA Announces $16 Million Water Infrastructure Loan to the City of Cortland, New York

05/11/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (May 11, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $16 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Cortland, New York to support a portfolio of sewer rehabilitation and water main replacement projects. This WIFIA loan will help this small community in upstate New York protect public health and the environment by helping provide safe drinking water and dependable wastewater services. 

“Through WIFIA, EPA is playing a key role in President Trump’s efforts to improve and upgrade our nation’s water infrastructure and support communities both large and small,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “With this loan closing, EPA has now issued 20 WIFIA loans totaling $4.2 billion in credit assistance to help finance $9.4 billion for water infrastructure projects while creating 19,000 jobs.”

“EPA is acting on its commitment to infrastructure investment by providing this important support to the City of Cortland. It will help the city finance critical sewer rehabilitation and water main replacement related project costs.” said EPA Region 2 Administrator Pete Lopez. “The City of Cortland serves as a key gateway in New York’s Southern Tier and this investment in water infrastructure will yield positive environmental results for years to come.”

The Clinton Avenue Gateway project will replace aged water mains, sanitary sewers and storm drainage with a new water main, services, hydrants and valves. The purpose of this project is to replace the existing infrastructure, which has exceeded its useful life. The existing water mains and sewer systems have been in place for over one hundred years and are at risk of failure due to age and use. The project will provide proper water and sewer main separation, reduce treatment costs for water and wastewater and improve public health and environmental protections.

“We thank the EPA for extending the WIFIA program to a city our size,” said Mayor Brian Tobin. “EPA’s participation opened a door for the City of Cortland to reconstruct its infrastructure, revitalize its commercial base and improved the quality of services rendered to our residents that the City would not be able to do on its own.”

This project will cost $38 million. EPA’s WIFIA loan will finance nearly half of that figure—up to $16 million. Additionally, a combination of loans and grants from the New York Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the New York Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and other state funds will finance approximately $18 million. The Federal Community Development Block Grant Program will fund $3.7 million, marking the first time that this U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding program and WIFIA financing have been used together to support a project. The WIFIA loan will save the City of Cortland an estimated $3.5 million compared to typical bond financing. Project construction and operation are expected to create 120 jobs.

Background on WIFIA

Established by the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014, the WIFIA program is a federal loan and guarantee program administered by EPA. WIFIA’s aim is to accelerate investment in the nation’s water infrastructure by providing long-term and low-cost supplemental credit assistance for regionally and nationally significant projects. EPA’s WIFIA program plays an important part in President Trump’s infrastructure plan, which calls for expanding project eligibility. The WIFIA program has an active pipeline of pending applications for projects that will result in billions of dollars in water infrastructure investment and thousands of jobs.

For more information about the WIFIA program, visit https://www.epa.gov/wifia.