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Mayor signs closing documents for $3.5 million loan for new water plant

xThe city of Cairo is closer to having the money necessary to finance the construction of a new water treatment plant and ground storage facility at the Cairo Municipal Airport.
On Monday night, the council authorized Mayor Bobby Burns to execute loan documents with the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority for a $3,586,710 low interest loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund is a federal loan program administered by GEFA and provides Georgia communities with low-interest loans to fund water infrastructure projects.
GEFA has agreed to forgive $500,000 of the loan so the city will be paying 0.66 percent interest on $3,086,710 over the next 10 years.
The city made application for the GEFA loan earlier this year and its application was approved in May.
Closing on the loan this week clears the way for consulting engineer Stacy Watkins to complete the final design for the project and put it out to bid by early March 2015.
The new treatment plant will have the additional capacity to treat for naturally occurring arsenic found in city drinking water.
The most recent testing of the two wells recently drilled at the airport did not find elevated levels of arsenic, but city officials are continuing with their plan to include an arsenic treatment component at the new plant.
The city’s water source is located near the southern edge of the Gulf Trough, an area of the Floridan aquifer that contains elevated levels of arsenic.
The new treatment plant will include an arsenic removal system along with a chemical injection system. Two deep water supply wells capable of yielding 2,000 gallons per minute will also be constructed.
Both wells drilled at the airport site are producing over 3,000 gallons per minute with limited drawdown.
The city has another high producing well on MacIvor Drive, which currently provides the majority of the city’s drinking water. The #9 well generates approximately 3,000 gallons per minute, according to City Manager Chris Addleton.

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