RHODE ISLAND — The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank presented $7.8 million in savings on Wednesday to 26 municipalities and utilities.
These savings were realized by refinancing the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund bonds in December 2019, according to Executive Director and CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank Jeffrey R. Diehl.
Although the savings seen in Narragansett and South Kingstown were not as high as some other municipalities, both towns benefited from the refinancing of the clean water bond. Narragansett saw a savings of $6,723 and South Kingstown was able to save $911 through this partnership.
Notably, the Town of North Kingstown was presented with $149,745 in savings through the drinking water bond.
The refinancing of these funds is part of an ongoing strategic effort by the bank to take advantage of low interest rates and provide financial savings to customers. Over the last five years, the bank has provided $33.4 million in savings to borrowers by refinancing existing debt at lower interest rates.
“The Infrastructure Bank is proud to provide these savings to our clients,” Diehl said. “By providing cash-savings up-front, our clients are able to redeploy capital towards a number of municipal initiatives like improving resiliency and protecting water quality.”
Significant savings were also realized by the Narragansett Bay Commission, which saved $1,998,023 through the clean water bond. Providence Water was able to save $584,802 through the clean water bond and the drinking water bond.
Since its establishment in 1989, the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank has worked collaboratively with public and private capital providers to develop and deploy solutions that support and finance investments in the state’s infrastructure and green energy initiatives. The bank has helped to create and support 62,000 jobs and has provided over $2.2 billion in financing.
By leverage capital in a revolving fund, the bank is able to offer financing for an array of infrastructure-based projects including water and wastewater, road and bridge, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and brownfield remediation.
In addition to presenting $7.8 million in savings, the bank also announced the next round of participants in the Municipal Resilience Program at the Statehouse on Wednesday.
Those participating in the Municipal Resilience Program include Bristol, Providence, Woonsocket, Little Compton, Warwick, and regional partnerships between Pawtucket and Central Falls, and Newport and Middletown.
The nine communities participating in the program will be provided with technical support from The Nature Conservancy and the Infrastructure Bank to assess their vulnerabilities to climate change. Upon completion of the program, each of the communities will have the opportunity to apply for Infrastructure Bank grant funding to address specific community resilience projects.
In 2019, five communities participated in the program and were recently granted $1,000,000 for their projects. South Kingstown had been one of five communities, alongside Barrington, Portsmouth, Warren and Westerly.
This past Wednesday was Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank’s annual Legislative Day at the Statehouse. Each year, the bank hosts the events to provide legislators an opportunity to learn more about their efforts to grow the Rhode Island economy, create local jobs, and protect the environment.
The bank encourages clients and stakeholders to attend and learn more about how the bank’s “latest initiatives can help meet the increasing needs for robust infrastructure.”