Municipal leaders face difficult decisions every day. With limited budgets, they must choose which infrastructure improvements are most critical. That’s especially true in smaller communities.
The Village of Tilton, Illinois, needed to make improvements to its wastewater infrastructure, specifically their Wastewater Treatment Plant, and financing the project was a concern. With help from Fehr Graham, the Village applied for and obtained $11 million in funding from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF). This funding will be used to fund the first phase of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant. Tilton’s IEPA’s loan funding included nearly $5 million in principal forgiveness, meaning only $6 million of the total loan needs to be paid back at 1% interest over 30 years. The principal forgiveness applied to this loan means that the Village will pay back about 2 cents each year for every $1 borrowed or $2 a year for each $100 borrowed. It’s basically free money.
Fehr Graham helped Tilton develop a strategic funding approach and worked to secure maximum principal forgiveness, positioning the Village to obtain the second phase of project funding without much need for additional financial planning.
The second phase of wastewater work for the Village includes the replacement of sanitary pump stations, upgrading aging pump stations, repairing aging sewers and improving Wastewater Treatment Plant sludge facilities, which will cost approximately $10 million. With Fehr Graham’s help, Tilton is positioned to secure more IEPA loan funding after July 1. The second phase of funding could also include additional principal forgiveness. The more forgiveness, the better. Village President David Phillips said the best part of the project is the benefit to taxpayers.
“This solution was a win-win for our Village and for our residents,” Phillips said. “It’s also an easy process. I definitely sleep a lot easier at night knowing we can fix critical infrastructure with help from the IEPA.”
The project addresses today’s wastewater infrastructure needs and well into the future as the community grows.
Construction of the Wastewater Treatment Plant began in January, while the sewer system improvements are expected to start as early as this summer. Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2024.
Naren Patel, PE, is a Senior Project Engineer/Project Manager with
more than 22 years of experience managing and leading water and
wastewater infrastructure projects. He specializes in planning, designing,
permitting, bidding and construction administration of water and wastewater
treatment facilities, sanitary sewer systems, pump stations, and water distribution
and storage systems. He also specializes in water and sewer rate studies,