COVINGTON — The Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties was awarded a $5.9 million Georgia Fund loan by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority board of directors Tuesday.
The loan will finance constructing an on-site pre-treatment facility for Baxter International at Stanton Spring Business Park in east Newton County.
JDA will pay 1.82 percent interest on the 30-year loan. The total cost of the pretreatment facility is $7.9 million with the OneGeorgia Authority providing a $2 million grant.
This is the second GEFA loan for the Baxter International project. Last November the GEFA board approved a $14 million Georgia Fund loan for the Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority, which will finance the cost of the Covington sewer connection and provide wastewater service to Baxter International.
Newton County commissioners approved in December a resolution and intergovernmental contract related to the $5.9 million GEFA loan.
Newton County’s portion of debt service payments is 37.5 percent, or a total of about $2.2 million. Walton is also responsible for 37.5 percent, Morgan for 15 percent and Jasper for 10 percent, according to the agreement. Those are the same percentages agreed upon for debt service payments on the purchase of the Stanton Springs park and revenues generated from development there.
The interest rate on the loan will be zero percent during construction, expected to take place in 2013 and 2014; and 1.8 percent after construction, with a 30-year amortization. Payments won’t start until some time between 2018 and 2020.
The JDA, Morgan, Walton and Jasper counties also approved the resolution and agreement.
“GEFA is pleased to support Baxter International and the Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton Counties with this ambitious economic development project,” said GEFA Executive Director Kevin Clark.
“I’d like to express appreciation to Gov. (Nathan) Deal, state Sens. Rick Jeffares, Burt Jones, Ronald Ramsey and Bill Cowsert, and state Reps. Dale Rutledge, Andy Welch, Doug Holt, Pamela Dickerson, Tom Kirby, Bruce Williamson and Susan Holmes for their support. The state’s commitment to helping cities and counties finance infrastructure projects contributes greatly to improving Georgia’s water resources.”
The Georgia Fund, a state-funded program administered by GEFA, provides communities with low-interest loans for water, wastewater, water conservation and solid waste infrastructure projects. Eligible projects include water and sewer lines, treatment plants, pumping stations, wells, water storage tanks and water meters. Low-interest loans from this program are available up to $10 million.