Missouri Department of Natural Resources awards interest-free loan to Howard County for water project

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Jefferson City, Missouri – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded a $278,000 interest-free loan to the Howard County Public Water Supply District No. 2. This loan is designated for planning and design work related to the district’s ongoing drinking water improvement project. These crucial funds will provide interim financing to cover early engineering and administrative costs while the district secures a larger loan and grant package from the department for their drinking water project.

Significance of the Loan

The larger improvement project is expected to total nearly $2.1 million, with construction estimated to begin in 2025. Early planning phases of infrastructure projects often represent a significant financial burden for communities with limited financial resources.

The Planning and Design Loan Program offers a cost-effective alternative to expensive private financing, allowing communities to undertake vital infrastructure projects without the financial strain. These loans bear no interest and come with a five-year term, saving the district’s customers approximately $43,500 in interest over the loan’s five-year term.

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Benefits of the Program

Dru Buntin, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, emphasized the importance of these funding assistance vehicles. “The department is proud to offer funding assistance vehicles that can help qualified communities undertake water and wastewater improvement projects. We can tailor assistance programs for communities of all sizes so they can improve their treatment systems. This in turn helps protect public and environmental health, and improves the quality of life for Missourians,” said Buntin.

Financing Details and Future Plans

The department’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund finances improvements to water treatment and distribution systems, water storage and supply facilities, and interconnection or consolidation projects.

Communities that borrow from the fund benefit from the below-market interest rate and from assistance provided throughout their project by a project manager. The Financial Assistance Center within the department is committed to working with communities to assist with water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects. This project will be funded wholly or in part with monies received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Commitment to Community Support

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources remains dedicated to supporting communities in their efforts to enhance water infrastructure. This interest-free loan is a critical step in ensuring the Howard County Public Water Supply District No. 2 can proceed with its drinking water improvement project, ultimately benefiting the residents and improving public health standards.

For more information about drinking water and wastewater funding opportunities, visit dnr.mo.gov.

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