Recently, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nominated Avon Lake Regional Water’s Lateral Loan Program for the U.S. EPA’s Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund’s Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) award. This award recognizes projects that are innovative in using the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to provide clean water via having water quality, public health, or economic benefits; sustainability benefits; and/or innovation.
“Because its Board operates independently, Avon Lake Regional Water is able to bring elite-class utility performance and innovation to its clientele at consistently high quality and low cost,” said John Dzwonczyk, Chairman of the Avon Lake Board of Municipal Utilities.
The State of Ohio may nominate one project for the award and Avon Lake Regional Water’s Lateral Loan Program was this year’s nomination.
“It is an honor for the Ohio EPA to select our Lateral Loan Program as its nomination for the award,” said Todd Danielson, Chief Utilities Executive for Avon Lake Regional Water. “This award nomination recognizes our continued commitment to innovation and how our innovations help save money for our customers and the City of Avon Lake.”
As part of Avon Lake Regional Water’s Long-Term Control Plan (LTCP) to address sewer overflows, the City of Avon Lake determined that it would separate its combined sewers within the city. In addition, lateral inspections and separations of private property within Avon Lake would occur, too. As private property separations began, Avon Lake Regional Water received concerns from Avon Lake residents regarding the cost of lateral separation projects.
Hearing those concerns, Avon Lake Regional Water worked with the Ohio EPA to develop the Lateral Loan Program, which is a 10-year, 2%-interest loan ($4,000 maximum), payable via the water/wastewater bill for those residents completing a lateral separation project.
In June 2016, the Avon Lake Board of Municipal Utilities approved the Lateral Loan Program. As of June 5, 2018, 282 properties within Avon Lake executed loan agreements and $1,016,148 has been committed.
The unique design of the Lateral Loan Program is what attracted the Ohio EPA to nominate the program for the award. Ohio EPA provided a $5 million capitalization loan to Avon Lake Regional Water through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF) program. Once the resident’s loan application was approved, the contractor completed the work, and the resident approved the contractor’s payment, Avon Lake Regional Water would pay the contractor and the resident would begin repaying the loan via their bill. As Avon Lake Regional Water receives the loan payments from residents, it would repay Ohio EPA. So, Avon Lake Regional Water created its own revolving funding program, being the first one in the State of Ohio.
The U.S. EPA will announce awards in the fall.
For more information on the Avon Lake Board of Municipal Utilities and Avon Lake Regional Water, see: http://avonlakewater.org.