DES MOINES – Meetings to discuss guidelines for a new funding source for water quality projects will be held in three locations across the state beginning Nov. 16.
The meetings will discuss the guidelines for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund’s (CWSRF) water resource restoration sponsored projects.
The guideline meetings will be held Nov. 16 at 9:30 a.m. at the DNR Water Supply Office at 401 SW Seventh St., Des Moines; Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. at the Harlan Community Library at 718 Court St. in Harlan; and Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. at the Coralville Public Library, 1401 Fifth St. in Coralville.
The purpose of the public meetings is to gather input on the proposed guideline and procedures for sponsored projects. A draft of the application process will be shared at the meeting. It is also available at www.iowasrf.com/about_srf/news-37090/
Legislation passed in 2009 allowed water quality projects to be financed with sewer revenues. This new category includes locally directed, watershed-based projects that address water quality problems and will be funded through interest reductions in Clean Water SRF wastewater infrastructure loans.
On a typical CWSRF loan, the utility borrows principal and repays principal plus interest and fees. On a CWSRF loan with a sponsored project, the utility borrows for both the wastewater improvement project and the sponsored project.
“Through an overall interest rate reduction, the utility’s ratepayers do not pay any more than they would have for just the wastewater improvements,” said Patti Cale-Finnegan, DNR SRF coordinator. “Instead, two water quality projects are completed for the cost of one.”
The program will be implemented through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, a loan program for construction of water quality facilities and practices. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
• Riparian buffer acquisition, enhancement, expansion or restoration
• Conservation easements
• Riparian zone or wetland buffer extension or restoration
• Wetland restoration in conjunction with an adjoining high quality water resource
• Streambank stabilization and natural channel design techniques
• In-stream habitat enhancements and dam removals
• Other projects that meet the criteria of best management practices for the primary purpose of water quality protection and improvement in the watershed where the publicly owned wastewater utility is located.