Bryan County has received a $2.9 million loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to expand water and sewer projects on both ends of the county.
The money will help expand the wastewater treatment facility at the Interstate Centre industrial park in Black Creek and purchase land for the installation of a new pump station, force main and sewer lines. The county also plans to purchase a water well from the city of Savannah that it has been buying water from.
“We need to move ahead with these projects because of the industrial and residential growth we’re expecting,” Commissioners Chairman Carter Infinger said. “Especially with getting the GEFA loan at such a low interest rate, it’s not something you can turn down.”
The loan has an interest rate of 2.19 percent and is repayable over 20 years.
“We’ll use the money to put the infrastructure in place, then pay it off as the money comes in from customers,” Infinger said.
Infinger said the projects the money will help pay for should ease residents’ concerns that the county’s development is outpacing its infrastructure.
“This way, we can make sure the development is in place before the building comes,” he said. “That’s something people have been fussing about and we want to make sure we’re doing it right.”
Infinger said the county had at one time discussed the possibility of tying into the city of Richmond Hill’s sewer system, but says the county believes it will be less expensive and more reliable if the county operates its own facilities.
Still to be decided is which entity will supply water and sewer services to the roughly 5,000 along Belfast Keller and Belfast River roads that are on a path to be annexed into the city. Infinger said the county has water and sewer lines already laid in the area from when Richmond Hill Middle School was built.
“We have the service delivery area in place,” he said. “It just needs to be figured out as to who will operate everything.”