Missouri DNR Offers Millions in Savings

Missouri Department of Natural Resources offers millions in savings through wastewater and drinking water project grants.

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Financial Assistance Center invites communities to apply for below-market financing for capital projects through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs.

Applications submitted by March 1, 2021, will receive top priority for loan funding next fiscal year and can compete for grant funding to address affordability challenges, regionalization, and certain water quality improvements.

The Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan program provides low-interest financing to construct wastewater projects and other projects that improve water quality.  Counties, incorporated cities and towns, and regional water or sewer districts may apply for financing for the wastewater treatment plant and collection system improvements, sewer line extensions, combined sewer overflow corrections, system security, nonpoint source projects, and measures to manage, reduce, treat, reuse or recapture stormwater.

The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan program provides low-interest financing to construct drinking water projects that protect public health. Political subdivisions (including counties, incorporated cities and towns, regional water or sewer districts), not-for-profit corporations that provide a regional water supply and investor-owned water utility corporations may apply for various projects.  These can include drinking water plant and distribution system improvements, line extensions, storage facilities, and source intake structures and wells. Political subdivisions and not-for-profit corporations receive priority for funding.

Both State Revolving Funds feature a subsidized interest rate of 70 percent below the 20-year municipal market rate the week before loan closing and a 0.5 percent administration fee.  The standard loan term is 20 years; however, extended terms up to 30 years may be available based on financial hardship for a small amount of additional interest.

The savings the programs offer to participants and their ratepayers are substantial.  For example, a recent loan for $40.2 million saved the borrower $7.9 million in interest compared to the market rate.

The department offers several types of grants to offset loan amounts.  Affordability grants are available to systems that demonstrate financial need.  Other grants are available for systems wishing to consolidate or regionalize with another entity and systems addressing certain water quality improvements, such as upgrades to comply with permit limits, build green infrastructure, and more.

State Revolving Fund borrowers not only benefit from low-interest rates but also personalized assistance from a dedicated department project coordinator.  For more information regarding the first steps toward this opportunity or other water funding opportunities, contact the department’s Financial Assistance Center at (573) 751-1192 or fac@dnr.mo.gov, or visit dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/srf/index.html.