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February 11, 2020

Press Release
R.I. Infrastructure Bank Announces $1 Million for Municipal Resilience Projects

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced $1,000,000 in action grants for inaugural participants of the Municipal Resilience Program (MRP). Through the program, five communities developed climate resilience plans with prioritized local actions and will now use the grant funds for implementation.

 “The Infrastructure Bank is committed to accelerating investment in sustainable infrastructure that better prepares Rhode Island communities for a changing climate” said Jeffrey R. Diehl, CEO of Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank. “We look forward to building on the success of the first round of the program and partnering with communities statewide to prepare and invest in critical infrastructure.” 

To develop a prioritized list of actionable plans and projects, program participants completed Community Resilience Building workshops led by The Nature Conservancy. At the conclusion of the workshop process, the participating municipalities submitted action grant proposals for identified projects with a required 25% local match. After a competitive review process, the selection committee recommended the following projects to receive funding for implementation:

  • Barrington – $201,000

    • Coastal restoration for flood mitigation at Walker Farm

    • Green infrastructure for water quality benefits at Bowden and Opechee Streets

  • Portsmouth – $339,000

    • Rehabilitation and stabilization of the Melville Dam

    • Three flood mitigation projects to expand the capacity of existing infrastructure for increasing precipitation volumes

  • Warren – $156,000

    • Three green infrastructure projects to reduce runoff and improve water quality at public access points to the Warren and Kickemuit Rivers
  • Westerly – $304,000

    • Flood protection wall at the Old Canal St. Pump Station

    • Two green infrastructure projects to reduce flooding and improve water quality of the Pawcatuck River

The Infrastructure Bank and Nature Conservancy will be announcing the 2020 round of the Municipal Resilience Program participants at the Infrastructure Banks’s Legislative Day on February, 12th, from 3pm – 4pm at the Statehouse. Also being highlighted during the program will be the grant recipients from the 2019 Program Round.

“Better prepared municipalities lead to a better prepared Ocean State. Rising sea levels, increasing heat, and extreme storm events will have long-term effects on local infrastructure and residents,” said Shaun O’Rourke, Director of Stormwater and Resiliency at the Infrastructure Bank and the State’s Chief Resiliency Officer. “The Municipal Resilience Program is building a statewide pipeline of priority projects to more effectively and efficiently respond to the climate impacts we are already experiencing.”

“The Nature Conservancy is proud to be an implementation partner on the Municipal Resilience Program. Municipalities across the state are already confronted with the realities of climate change. The workshops empower communities to collaboratively figure out how to meet these challenges,” said Sue AnderBois, The Nature Conservancy’s Climate and Energy Program Manager. “These grants will help the initial Resilient Rhody Municipalities implement some of their priorities – and we are pleased to see that the Governor’s proposed Beach, Clean Water and Green Bond includes funding for an additional 20 municipalities.”

The program supports the goals outlined in the state’s Climate Resilience Action Strategy (Resilient Rhody) released by Governor Gina Raimondo in 2018. Resilient Rhody identified steps the state can take to protect against unexpected events, like severe weather, while addressing chronic environmental stresses, such as sea level rise and aging infrastructure. The MRP empowers cities and towns to evaluate each of their unique vulnerabilities to changing weather and severe weather events, while providing them with the funds necessary to take on specific resilience projects.

More information about the program can be found here.

About Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is Rhode Island’s central hub for financing infrastructure improvements for municipalities, businesses, and homeowners. We leverage capital in a revolving fund to offer innovative financing for an array of infrastructure-based projects including water and wastewater, road and bridge, 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. For more information, please visit www.riib.org.

About The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions such as Community Resilience Building to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

December 24, 2019

Press Release
Infrastructure Bank Announces over $7.8 million in Savings for Borrowers

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank (Infrastructure Bank) is proud to announce the closing of a Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund bond refinancing transaction, with a principal value of $153.8 million.  The transactions will generate $7.8 million of savings for 26 municipalities and utilities.

“Through proactive balance sheet management, the Infrastructure Bank monitors interest rate environments to identify opportunities to lower our cost of borrowing,” said Jeffrey R. Diehl, 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 refinancing of Drinking Water and Clean 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. This past July, the Bank completed a refinancing for Drinking Water State Revolving Fund bonds, which generated more than $550,000 of cash-savings for borrowers. In 2019, the Bank has created $8.4 million of cash-savings for borrowers.

“Ensuring that Rhode Islanders have access to, and can afford, clean water is core to the Infrastructure Bank’s mission and is important to every one of us,” said Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner. “This refinancing of clean water debt will help Rhode Island cities and towns save millions of dollars, which can be used to create additional economic opportunity; so that Rhode Island remains a great place to work and live.”

Over the last five years, the Bank has provided $33.4 million in savings to borrowers by refinancing existing debt at lower interest rates.

December 24, 2019

Press Release
Infrastructure Bank finances drinking-water improvements

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is providing $350,000 in financing for drinking-water system improvements at the Four Seasons Mobile Home Cooperative Association in Tiverton, the Providence-based bank announced.

The financing was made possible through the bank’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The principal “forgiveness” loan will allow Four Seasons to improve the safety and quality of residents’ drinking water without compromising the cooperative’s finances, the bank said.

December 24, 2019

Press Release
Infrastructure Bank Signs the Green Bond Pledge

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank is pleased to announce that it has become a signatory to the Green Bond Pledge.  In doing so, the Bank is reinforcing its commitment toward financing projects that directly account for environmental impact and climate risk.

The Green Bond Pledge asserts that when applicable, bonds financing long-term infrastructure and capital projects will address environmental impacts and climate risk. The Pledge calls on signatories (cities, county and state governments, and corporations) to incorporate resilient and sustainable solutions when planning, designing and building/rehabilitating infrastructure assets. By adhering to the core tenets of the Pledge, signatories ensure that both communities and investors will be positioned to “withstand the 100-year storm”.

December 24, 2019

Press Release
Infrastructure Bank Issues First Public Market Green Bond

Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank announced the closing of its inaugural public-market Green Bond issuance for the Efficient Buildings Fund (EBF) program today. The Bank’s inaugural $18.3 million Efficient Buildings Fund Green Bond was given a top rating of “AA” by Standard and Poor’s (S&P). The Efficient Buildings Fund provides below-market interest rate loans to municipalities, school districts and quasi-state entities to invest in clean energy projects.

July 29, 2019

Press Release
Infrastructure Bank Announces over $500,000 in Savings for Borrowers

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:

  1. The City of Pawtucket received $329,048
  2. The City of Newport received $25,266
  3. The City of Woonsocket received $33,048
  4. Bristol County Water received $23,542
  5. Providence Water received $148,118

“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.”

May 8, 2019

Press Release
Infrastructure Bank Finances Municipal Road & Bridge Projects

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.”

Press Release
Infrastructure Bank Funds First Local Project Following Its Inaugural Public Bond Issuance

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.”