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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 3, 2010
CONTACT: Dee Ann Miller, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 519-2898 (cell)


DEP Announces Stimulus Loan for City of Minneola Wastewater Facility

--Federal funding to protect environment, stimulate economy--

MINNEOLA – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently awarded $853,000 to the city of Minneola for wastewater management. The funds, part of DEP’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Program, will fund improvements to the wastewater facilities along the U.S. 27 commercial corridor.

The project will reduce the level of nutrients and pathogens that reach the surrounding waterbodies by eliminating existing septic tanks and a smaller treatment plant that is near the end of its useful life. The wastewater will now be treated at the city’s new wastewater reclamation facility, and the highly treated reclaimed water will replenish natural groundwater and be used for residential irrigation.

The funds awarded to the city of Minneola are a part of the approximately $217 million awarded to Florida from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ( (ARRA) to help local governments finance improvements to wastewater, stormwater and drinking water facilities essential to protecting public health and the environment across the state. Florida was one of the first states to have met all the requirements necessary to receive the full amount of ARRA funds to support both the CWSRF as well as the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).

“In order to protect water quality and public health for our citizens, it is essential that we invest in our wastewater, stormwater and drinking water infrastructure. The stimulus funds advance our ongoing efforts to provide needed funding for infrastructure to local communities,” said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. “We have had a tremendous demand for this ARRA funding, which will help build valuable public projects.”

Minneola is one of 58 projects in 52 Florida communities scheduled to receive ARRA money to help build critical drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

DEP has committed all $217 million in available CWSRF and DWSRF ARRA funding. Qualifying projects were selected for ARRA funding, based on their readiness and priority, at public hearings held on February 25, May 13 and August 12. DEP will also continue to work with all applicants to help them apply for other funding as it becomes available.

DEP received more than $850 million in requests for the $85 million of ARRA drinking water project funds and more than $1.5 billion in requests competing for $132.3 million in ARRA wastewater and stormwater funding.

DEP established its SRF programs, under agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to provide low-interest financing to plan, design and build wastewater, stormwater and drinking water systems. Funded by federal capitalization grants, state matching funds, loan repayments, interest earnings and periodic bond issues, SRF loans are offered at interest rates substantially below current market rates and help make loans affordable. Repayments from earlier loans are used to make new loans, allowing the program to operate in perpetuity.

Since 1999, Florida has invested more than $3.7 billion to upgrade and improve water and wastewater facilities and clean up stormwater pollution, funding about 2,400 projects statewide. Over the past ten years, the SRF programs have committed more than $2.4 billion, including more than $265 million last year, to plan, design and build wastewater facilities across the state.

For more information on the State Revolving Funds, visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wff

For a complete list of communities scheduled to receive ARRA funding, visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2009/05/0522_02.htm

For more information about Florida’s use of the federal recovery dollars made available through ARRA, please visit www.FlaRecovery.com.

wastewater

"We have had a tremendous demand for this ARRA funding, which will help build valuable public projects."

Michael W. Sole
DEP Secretary

10–015

Last updated: February 03, 2010

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