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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.”
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.
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”.
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.