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Learn about Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, including Featured News, Key Projects, and The Team.
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is Rhode Island’s central hub for financing infrastructure improvements for municipalities, businesses, and homeowners. We efficiently leverage limited capital and offer below-market, innovative financing for an array of infrastructure-based projects including water and wastewater, transportation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and brownfield remediation. These quality of life projects improve the State’s infrastructure, create jobs, promote economic development and enhance the environment.
Established by the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1989, the Bank’s mandate was significantly expanded in 2015 by adding energy and brownfield remediation initiatives to its existing water and transportation programs. The Bank’s expanded mandate has significantly enhanced its ability to provide competitive financing to a broader variety of infrastructure-based projects.
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (Infrastructure Bank) announced $559,826 in saving for five borrowers at Pawtucket Water Authority on Friday, July 26th. The refinancing of Drinking Water State Revolving Fund bonds is part of a strategic effort by the Bank to take advantage of low interest rates and provide financial savings to customers.
“The Infrastructure Bank is committed to proactively working with municipalities to leverage our programs to save money and reduce the cost of infrastructure investment,” said Jeffrey R. Diehl, Executive Director and CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “By refinancing existing debt at lower interest rates, we can provide savings to our customers and maximize the amount of capital available to finance additional infrastructure projects.”
The five borrowers who benefited from this refinancing are:
“The Infrastructure Bank’s refinancing of water debt has helped cities and towns save over a half million dollars,” said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “This money can now help create greater economic opportunity and put people to work protecting the vital resources that make Rhode Island a great place to live.”
In response to low interest rates, the Bank has sought to proactively manage its balance sheet as a way of delivering savings to borrowers. Over the last five years, the Bank has provided $25 million in savings to borrowers by refinancing existing debt at lower interest rates.
“The City of Pawtucket has made record investments in our local infrastructure, due in-part to the innovative, low cost borrowing programs available through the Infrastructure Bank,” said Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “The city, and its entities like Pawtucket Water, will continue to seek savings and efficiencies to ensure that our taxpayers are getting the best bang for their buck.”
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced $18.5 million in financing for road and bridge projects in Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Westerly. The municipalities will save $1.4 million in interest payments by financing their projects through the Bank. Additionally, the project financing will support approximately 200 well-paying jobs across Rhode Island in the building trades.
“The Infrastructure Bank is proud to partner with our local communities to make significant investments in their roads and bridges,” said Jeffrey Diehl, CEO and Executive Director of the Infrastructure Bank. “Our low-interest rate loans translate into over a million dollars in savings for Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Westerly.”
The Infrastructure Bank’s Municipal Road and Bridge program finances projects at below-market interest rates and has lent over $49 million for projects in the past 24 months. Since its inception, the Infrastructure Bank has provided almost $75 million in lending to 19 communities for local road and bridge improvements.
“Pawtucket utilized our financing in 2018, as well, to continue their record investment in resurfacing their roads. We are excited that Central Falls is taking advantage of the program for the first time to invest in its growing community,” said Diehl.
The Infrastructure Bank also issued the second public bond for the Municipal Road and Bridge program for $15.4 million with a debt rating of “AA” by Standard and Poor’s (S&P).
Central Falls received a $1.5 million loan to start the initial phase of the City’s Green and Complete Streets initiative. This is the first Green and Complete Streets ordinance in New England and will ensure that road projects minimize environmental impact while creating safer streets for the community. Central Falls will save $161,513 in debt service payments.
“This is a great opportunity for our city to borrow money at a subsidized rate to improve the infrastructure of our beloved square mile,” said Mayor James A. Diossa. “These funds will allow us to fix streets that require the most repair such as Cross Street. The City of Central Falls encourages local cities and towns to consider R.I. Infrastructure Bank’s program options for their infrastructure plans.”
Pawtucket received a $1.9 million loan to resurface their roadways, including major thoroughfares like Pawtucket Avenue, Main Street, Beverage Hill Road and Walcott Street. The City will save $224,188 in debt service payments by borrowing through the Infrastructure Bank.
“The Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank has been essential to saving Pawtucket taxpayer dollars,” said Mayor Donald R. Grebien. “This partnership between the State and local municipalities is exactly the type of success story that taxpayers need and deserve. We are proud to continue working with the Bank to upgrade Pawtucket infrastructure in a cost effective manner.”
Westerly received a $14.8 million loan to perform the reconditioning and resurfacing of approximately 21 miles of roads and the construction of the Boombridge Road Bridge. The first phase of the plan, financed through the Infrastructure Bank, is anticipated to span a three-year period to address road improvements and a partnership project with R.I. Department of Transportation and C.T. Department of Transportation to repair the Boombridge Road Bridge.
“Through the approval of our voters and financing through the Infrastructure Bank, the Boombridge Road Bridge, an important access between the two states, will finally be open after 10 years,” said Westerly Town Manager Mark Rooney. “This project and the resurfacing of our roads will ensure safer travel, reduced maintenance, more attractive neighborhoods, and extended asset life.”
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank issued the first Efficient Building Fund (EBF) loan following its inaugural public bond issuance last month. A portion of the proceeds will provide below market financing to the Town of North Kingstown for its streetlight retrofit project. Recently, North Kingstown purchased their streetlights from National Grid to convert them to energy-saving LED lights.
“By taking advantage of the Bank’s Efficient Buildings Fund to upgrade their streetlights, North Kingstown will generate significant savings for the Town and make a positive impact on the environment,” said Jeffrey Diehl, CEO of the Infrastructure Bank. “The EBF program finances projects that reduce energy costs for municipalities, save tax payers money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.”
The Town of Warren financed a $20 million upgrade to the Town's wastewater treatment facility through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund managed by Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. The project will modernize the wastewater treatment facility by reducing nitrogen discharges into the Warren River, increasing energy efficiency, replacing obsolete equipment, improving safety for workers, and increasing the resiliency of the facility to storms, flooding, and the effects of climate change. The resilience components of the project make it the first wastewater treatment facility in Rhode Island to incorporate flood protection measures identified in the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's 2017 climate change vulnerability assessment. Specific measures include relocating electrical equipment and motor drives above projected flood elevation and replacing pumps and mixers with submersible motors where raising pumps above flood level is not feasible. Green elements of the project also allowed Warren to receive approximately $450,000 of principal forgiveness that reduces the overall cost of the project.
Borrower - Town of Warren
Program(s) - Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)
Amount - $20,000,000
US Extruders, a small manufacturer of screws and extruders located in Westerly, financed the installation of a 210.4 kW rooftop solar installation using the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. By financing the project through C-PACE, US Extruders was able to access 100% long-term financing that will cover the full cost of the project. Over the 20-year loan term, US Extruders is projected to save more than $1.1 million - funds that can be reinvested into core business activities. Additionally, the project will reduce carbon emissions by more than 2,300 tons over 20 years, an amount equivalent to the emissions produced by burning more than 3.4 million pounds of coal.
Borrower - US Extruders
Program(s) - Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE)
Amount - $503,953
The City of Newport is financing a series of improvements to the Newport Water Pollution Control Plant through RIIB’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund. These upgrades are intended to address wet weather flows and mitigate combined sewer overflows (CSOs), which are a substantial source of water pollution. Among the upgrades made to the facility are an increase in the capacity that it can treat to better handle wet weather events, chemically-enhanced primary treatment, biofilters and improved solids management to minimize odors and a UV disinfection system to protect against the escape of bacteria. Additionally, RIIB’s Efficient Buildings Fund provided financing for solar panels that will provide a portion of the facility’s electricity and energy efficiency measures will reduce the amount of energy that the facility requires to operate.
The project loan total was $49,227,000 which was a combination of $47,985,000 from CWSRF and $1,242,000 from EBF.
Borrower - City of Newport
Program(s) - Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Efficient Buildings Fund (EBF)
Amount - $49,227,000
Embrace Home Loans, a full-service direct mortgage lender operating nationally, used Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program to finance the cost of two solar energy projects at Embrace’s corporate headquarters in Middletown. Through C-PACE, Embrace received 100% long-term financing that will cover the entire $1.2 million cost of the two solar installations. Over 20 years, the projects are expected to save Embrace more than $226,000 after debt service is accounted for. In addition to the cost savings, the projects will also have a substantial environmental impact by reducing annual emissions of CO2 by 188.6 tons, equivalent to the emissions produced from the average passenger vehicle travelling over 452,000 miles.
Borrower - Embrace Home Loans
Program(s) - Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE)
Amount - $1,213,000