atrubia@ricentral.com

NORTH KINGSTOWN – The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced last week that it would be loaning hundreds of thousands of dollars for the sewer installation project in Wickford Village. 

Financed through its Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), the bank announced that it would be loaning $315,000 to the Wickford Village Commercial Area Wastewater Collection System Project. The CWSRF initially provided a $3.6 million loan to the town for the project in 2017, however, by financing the project through the Infrastructure Bank, North Kingstown will now save an additional $234,000 on debt service payments across the life of both loans. 

The Wickford Village project involves the installation of over 10,000 linear feet of sewer lines and a pump station with an emergency generator, and, according to the infrastructure bank, this most recent loan of more than $300,000 will add an additional 850 linear feet of sewer line in the areas of Post Road and West Main Street. 

Back in 2014, town voters approved a nearly $5 million sewer project referendum for Wickford Village, which was designed to stimulate business development by replacing individual septic systems with sewers. 

The referendum stated that commercial properties along the line would be tied-into the sewer, while giving residential property owners in the district the option to decide whether to tie-in, with the cost falling on all those accessing the sewer. 

Voters overwhelmingly approved the referendum, though several business owners and residents have since taken issue with the amount of the individual assessments. 

Jeffrey R. Diehl, the executive director and CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, said that the additional load would provide “critical resources” for the town to complete the project, which he added will help protect the environment.  

“The Infrastructure Bank is proud to continue making investments in Rhode Island’s clean water infrastructure,” said Diehl. “This additional round of financing for North Kingstown’s sewer collection system project provides critical resources to the town for a project that will protect our environment.”  

According to its website, the infrastructure bank is dedicated to offering “innovative financing for an array of infrastructure-based projects including water and wastewater, road and bridge, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and brownfield remediation.” 

“These quality-of-life projects improve the state’s infrastructure, create jobs, promote economic development and enhance the environment,” its website reads. 

And through the CWSRF, according to the bank, municipalities and quasi-public agencies can more easily access below-market interest rate loans for the completion of projects that mitigate water pollution. 

“The Infrastructure Bank provides approved borrowers with a discounted interest rate – currently 33 percent off the borrower’s market rate,” according to a press release issued by the bank. “Eligible projects include construction and upgrades of wastewater collection systems and treatment facilities, stormwater pollution prevention and treatment facilities, nonpoint source pollution, best management practices, and other water pollution abatement and water quality protection activities.”

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