The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local News

March 23, 2013

Partners with deep pockets needed for Mounds Lake Reservoir

New federal sources could be available



  •  Provide direct loans that offer flexible repayment terms to cover construction and capital costs of a project like Mounds Lake.
  •  And provide federal loan guarantees to enable institutional investors, such as pension funds, to make loans to a project sponsor.

Repayment would not begin until five years following substantial completion of a project with a payback term of 35 years A typical repayment schedule for municipal bonds is 20 to 25 years, according to Gwinn.

Under the draft Senate proposal, credit assistance through the WIFIA program would be limited to 49 percent of the total project costs.

The new federal program is being proposed because the nation’s water infrastructure needs repair and upgrading. Federal and local lawmakers say WIFIA is one way to help local governments pay for water projects.

Like Mounds Lake itself, however, WIFIA is far from being a done deal, especially in an era of sequestration and legislative gridlock.

The Senate bill reported out of committee last week still needs to be voted on by the full Senate before crossing over to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.


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