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Boise invited to participate in EPA loan for water improvement projects

Posted at 2:47 PM, Dec 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-03 16:47:36-05

BOISE, Idaho — Boise became the first municipality in Idaho to be part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.

This will allow the City of Boise to protect water through improvement projects while keeping down the cost for residents.

Over the next five years, the City of Boise will be able to borrow up to $272 million through WIFIA to complete water infrastructure projects which include updates at the Lander Street Facility, in-stream improvements to manage the temperature in the Boise River and a recycled water program for starters.

City officials expect to lock in a two percent interest rate on these EPA loans which would likely be a half to a full percent lower than loans they would find in the private sector.

This means Boise would be able to save a considerable amount of money that could prevent future increases in residents' sewer bills while at the same time protecting water in the region.

"This is really big news for our city because it makes it possible to provide the work that we said we would provide clean water at affordable rates through our water bond that the public voted yes for," said Mayor Lauren Mclean. "I want to thank the City of Boise and residents for being so supportive."

This fall 80 percent of voters approved the proposed water bond for improvement projects which will make sewer bills rise by 9.9 percent in January, and it remains to be seen the exact financial impact these EPA loans will have in the future.