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By Hartsville Vidette Staff Reporter

Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner Bob Martineau announced last Friday that the Castalian Springs-Bethpage Water Utility District has been approved to receive more than $1.6 million in low-interest loans for drinking water infrastructure improvements.

“These funds will support needed infrastructure improvements and clean drinking water for these communities,” Haslam said in a press statement. “The State Revolving Fund Loan Program helps citizens enjoy a better quality of life.”

The Castalian Springs-Bethpage utility will receive two loans of $1,245,980 and $354,020 for replacement of approximately 55,500 linear feet of old water lines and the addition of approximately 640 automatic meter reading (AMR) transmitters and associated software. The projects will be funded with 20-year loans with an interest rate of 0.54 percent and $311,495 in principal forgiveness that will not be repaid.

“We thought is would get approved,” said CSB District Manager Bennie Oldham. “The biggest part of it will be spent in Sumner County, but there is part of it that will be spent along 231N in Trousdale County.”

According to a project map provided by CSB officials, the Trousdale County portion will be along 231 North from the Highway 25 intersection to Templow Road.

Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $1.7 billion in low-interest loans since its inception in 1987. Tennessee’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $292 million in low-interest loans since its inception in 1996.

“Clean drinking water is a necessity and this Program helps local communities provide this vital resource in an efficient way,” said Martineau.

Through the SRF Program, communities, utility districts, and water and wastewater authorities can obtain loans with lower interest rates than most can obtain through private financing.